Positron interactions with high-Z atoms at relativistic energies

M. N. Butler, M. C. Chu, S. E. Koonin, J. Piekarewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the interaction of a positron with a bound electron of a high-Z atom. In particular, we present relativistic calculations of the cross sections for knockout and/or positronium formation in a thorium target, as well as an internal process in a hypothetical Z=164 atom. Both plane-wave and distorted-wave Born approximations are discussed. We find peaks in the final sum energy of the electron-positron pairs due to the momentum distribution of the atomic electron. However, these peaks are too low in energy and are too broad compared with peaks claimed in e+e- scattering or with the anomalous positron peaks in heavy-ion experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2274-2283
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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