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- Coulomb effects on electromagnetic pair production in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions (1999)
- We calculate the asymptotic high-energy amplitude for electrons scattering at one ion, as well as at two colliding ions, by means of perturbation theory. We show that the interaction with one ion eikonalizes and that the interaction with two ions causally decouples. We are able to put previous results on perturbative grounds and propose further applications for the obtained rules for interactions on the light cone. We discuss the implications of the eikonal amplitude on the pair production probability in ultrarelativistic peripheral heavy-ion collisions. In this context the Weizsäcker-Williams method is shown to be exact in the ultrarelativistic limit, irrespective of the produced particles’ mass. A new equivalent single-photon distribution is derived, which correctly accounts for Coulomb distortions. The impact on single-photon induced processes is discussed.

- Structure of the vacuum in nuclear matter: a nonperturbative approach (1997)
- We compute the vacuum polarization correction to the binding energy of nuclear matter in the Walecka model using a nonperturbative approach. We first study such a contribution as arising from a ground-state structure with baryon-antibaryon condensates. This yields the same results as obtained through the relativistic Hartree approximation of summing tadpole diagrams for the baryon propagator. Such a vacuum is then generalized to include quantum effects from meson fields through scalar-meson condensates which amounts to summing over a class of multiloop diagrams. The method is applied to study properties of nuclear matter and leads to a softer equation of state giving a lower value of the incompressibility than would be reached without quantum effects. The density-dependent effective sigma mass is also calculated including such vacuum polarization effects.

- Theory of positron production in heavy-ion collisions (1981)
- Collisions of very heavy ions at energies close to the Coulomb barrier are discussed as a unique tool to study the behavior of the electron-positron field in the presence of strong external electromagnetic fields. To calculate the excitation processes induced by the collision dynamics, a semiclassical model is employed and adapted to describe the field-theoretical many-particle system. An expansion in the adiabatic molecular basis is chosen. Energies and matrix elements are calculated using the monopole approximation. In a supercritical (Z1+Z2≳173) quasiatomic system the 1s level joins the antiparticle continuum and becomes a resonance, rendering the neutral vacuum state unstable. Several methods of treating the corresponding time-dependent problem are discussed. A projection-operator technique is introduced for a fully dynamical treatment of the resonance. Positron excitation rates in s1/2 and p1/2 states are obtained by numerical solution of the coupled-channel equations and are compared with results from first- plus second-order perturbation theory. Calculations are performed for subcritical and supercritical collisions of Pb-Pb, Pb-U, U-U, and U-Cf. Strong relativistic deformations of the wave functions and the growing contributions from inner-shell bound states lead to a very steep Z dependence of positron production. The results are compared with available data from experiments done at GSI. Correlations between electrons and positrons are briefly discussed.

- Description of atomic excitations in heavy-ion reactions (1983)
- Excitations of the atomic shell in heavy-ion collisions are influenced by the presence of a nuclear reaction. In the present Rapid Communication we point out the equivalence between a semiclassical description based on the nuclear autocorrelation function with an earlier model which employs a distribution of reaction times f(T). For the example of U+U collisions, results of coupled-channel calculations for positron creation and K-hole excitations are discussed for two schematic reaction models.

- Spin polarization of electrons induced by strong collisional magnetic fields (1981)
- We calculate the spin polarization of 1sσ vacancies and emitted δ electrons induced by the strong magnetic field (|Bmax|∼1016G) in collisions of very heavy ions (Z1+Z2=178). The electron excitations are determined by the solution of coupled-channel equations within the quasimolecular basis states including the vector potential. The formulation is extended to the many-electron case. Spin polarizations of the order of 5-10% for impact energies below the Coulomb barrier are predicted.

- Delta-electron emission in deep-inelastic heavy-ion collisions (1980)
- This paper reports calculations of the influence of a reaction time T>10-21 s in deep-inelastic Xe-Pb collisions on the energy spectrum of δ electrons ejected in the same collision. It is shown that the lifetime of the superheavy composite system causes pronounced oscillations of width ε=h/T in the electron distribution, which survive the inclusion of multistep excitations and the folding with a lifetime distribution function. This effect may serve as an atomic clock for deep-inelastic collisions.

- Shakeoff of the vacuum polarization in quasimolecular collisions of very heavy ions (1977)
- The theory of direct electron-positron pair production in the collision of heavy ions is formulated in the framework of the quasimolecular model. The pair production process acquires a collective nature for (Z1+Z2)α>1 and can be understood as the shakeoff of the strong vacuum polarization cloud formed in the quasimolecule. The total cross section is, e.g., 76 μb for Pb + Pb at Coulomb barrier energies.