Cross sections and photon asymmetries of the 16O(γ, pn)14N and 16O(γ, pp)14C knockout reactions are calculated for transitions to the low-lying discrete final states of the residual nucleus in the photon-energy range between 100 and 400 MeV. Exclusive reactions may represent a test of reaction mechanisms and a promising tool for investigating the dynamics of nucleon pairs in different states. Cross sections and asymmetries for both (γ,pn) and (γ,pp) turn out to be only slightly affected by short-range correlations and dominated by two-body currents. Therefore, two-nucleon knockout reactions induced by real photons appear well suited to investigate the nuclear current and the selectivity of individual transitions to its different components.
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