I understand how the NWA is used, setting the intermediate particles on-shell and allowing us to drop off-shell contributions, ultimately writing the NWA cross-section as a product of the production cross-section and relevant branching ratios only, and replacing a Bret-Wigner distribution with a single delta-function (which makes our lives that much easier!).

However, I'm less clear about how the approximation itself is derived, i.e. how we get:

$$\dfrac{1}{(s-M^2)^2+M^2\Gamma^2}\overset{\Gamma/M\to 0}{\longrightarrow}\dfrac{\pi}{M\Gamma}\delta(s-M^2)$$


There is a known limit $$ \lim_{\epsilon \to 0} \frac {\epsilon}{\epsilon^2 + x^2} = \pi \delta (x) $$

Your expresaion may be rewritten as $$ \frac1 {\Gamma M^3}\frac {\Gamma/M}{(s / M ^2 -1)^2 + (\Gamma/M)^2} \to \frac1 {\Gamma M^3} \pi\delta (s/M^2-1) = \frac1 {\Gamma M} \pi\delta (s-M^2)$$ This is slightly odd as I assume $\Gamma M^3$ remains constant whilst the limit is taken.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm sure I used to know this, but now it looks wrong :/ $\endgroup$ – innisfree May 22 '17 at 12:43

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