Doppler Broadening of In-Flight Positron Annihilation Radiation due to Electron Momentum

Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 5612 – Published 11 June 2001
A. W. Hunt, D. B. Cassidy, P. A. Sterne, T. E. Cowan, R. H. Howell, K. G. Lynn, and J. A. Golovchenko


We report the first observation of electron momentum contributions to the Doppler broadening of radiation produced by in-flight two-photon annihilation in solids. In these experiments an approximately 2.5 MeV positron beam impinged on thin polyethylene, aluminum, and gold targets. Since energetic positrons easily penetrate the nuclear Coulomb potential and do not cause a strong charge polarization, the experimental annihilation line shapes agree well with calculations based on a simple independent-particle model. Moreover, annihilations with the deepest core electrons are greatly enhanced.


  • Received 20 March 2001
  • Published in the issue dated 11 June 2001

© 2001 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

A. W. Hunt1, D. B. Cassidy2,*, P. A. Sterne3, T. E. Cowan3,†, R. H. Howell3, K. G. Lynn1,4, and J. A. Golovchenko2

  • 1Center for Materials Research, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-2711
  • 2Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
  • 3Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94551
  • 4Department of Physics, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-2814

  • *Present address: Department of Physics, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-2814.
  • Present address: Photonics Division, General Atomics, San Diego, CA 92121-1122.


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