Primakoff effect

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Feynman diagram representing the Primakoff effect.

The Primakoff effect, named after Henry Primakoff, is the resonant production of neutral pseudoscalar mesons by high-energy photons interacting with an atomic nucleus. It can be viewed as the reverse process of the decay of the meson into two photons.

The Primakoff effect has been used for the measurement of the decay width of neutral mesons.[1]

The Primakoff effect also could take place in stars, and be a production mechanism of hypothetical particles, such as the axion.

The Primakoff effect is predicted to lead to optical properties of the vacuum state in the presence of a strong magnetic field.[2]


  1. ^ Browman, A.; Dewire, J.; Gittelman, B.; Hanson, K.; Larson, D.; Loh, E.; Lewis, R. (1974). "Decay Width of the Neutral π Meson". Physical Review Letters. 33 (23): 1400. Bibcode:1974PhRvL..33.1400B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.33.1400. 
  2. ^ Sikivie, P.; Tanner, D.; Van Bibber, Karl (2007). "Resonantly Enhanced Axion-Photon Regeneration". Physical Review Letters. 98 (17): 172002. Bibcode:2007PhRvL..98q2002S. arXiv:hep-ph/0701198Freely accessible. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.172002.