We study in detail the influence of the nuclear form factor both on the Born cross section and on the Coulomb corrections to the photo-production of muon pairs off heavy nuclei (γ Z→μ + μ - Z) and in heavy-ion collisions (ZZ→ZZ μ + μ -). Our findings indicate a number of issues which have not been sufficiently described as yet in the literature: (i) the use of a realistic form factor, based on the Fermi charge distribution for the nucleus, is absolutely indispensable for reliable theoretical predictions; (ii) we checked quantitatively that the equivalent photon approximation has a very good accuracy for the discussed processes; and (iii) we present a leading logarithmic calculation of the Coulomb corrections which correspond to multi-photon exchange of the produced μ ± with the nuclei. These corrections are found to be small (on the percent level). Our result justifies using the Born approximation for numerical simulations of the discussed process at the RHIC and LHC colliders. Finally, we calculate the total cross section for muon pair production at RHIC and LHC.




GSI Darmstadt
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Russian Foundation for Basic Research
University of Missouri Research Board

Keywords and Phrases

Coulomb Corrections; Nuclear Form Factor; Nucleus-Nucleus Collisions; Photon-Nucleus Collisions

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2009 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2009

Included in

Physics Commons