Paul Garrett

Dr. Paul Garrett
Professor and Department Chair
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x52192
MacN 220

Find Related People by Keyword

I obtained my B.Sc. (Eng.) with Honours in Engineering Physics in 1987 from Queen's University.  I then completed my M.Sc. in Health and Radiation Physics in 1988 from McMaster University, which involved field work in collaboration with the Safety Services Division of Ontario Hydro in the summer of 1988.  I returned to McMaster University in 1988 to commence my Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics, which was defended in early 1993.

In the fall of 1992, I joined the Atomic and Nuclear Physics Group at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, for my first post-doctoral position which was followed in the fall of 1994 with my second post-doctoral position at the University of Kentucky, USA, until the spring of 1998.   I then held a Staff Physicist position within N-Division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1998 to 2005.  In 2004, I joined the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph as an Associate Professor, and in 2009 I was promoted to Professor. In 2010, I will be a Visiting Professor with the Technical University of Munich, and the Ludwig-Maximillians University, Germany.

I have been active in many User Executive Committees for national and international nuclear physics facilities, including those for GAMMASPHERE (2003-2004), the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (2004-2005), TRIUMF (2005-2007) for which I was Chair (2006), and the  Argonne Tandem-Linac Accelerator System (2009-2011).  I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute for Nuclear Physics in the position as Secretary and Treasurer (2007-2012).  I have been an active reviewer of research articles for many international journals for nuclear physics, and also of funding applications for basic and applied physics for several agencies in the US and the UK.  I have been very active in conference and workshop organization, serving on numerous Program and International Advisory Committees, and am Program chair for the International Nuclear Physics Conference 2010 (Vancouver), and chair of the 14'th International Symposium for Capture Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and Related Topics (Guelph, 2011).

I have been the recipient of two National Nuclear Security Administration's Defense Program Award of Excellence (2000, 2004) while with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and  an Early Researcher's Award (2008) from the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario.

My research spans a wide variety of areas in low-energy nuclear physics, using multiple techniques at various facilities around the world to perform experiments.  I work in several international collaborations seeking to understand the structure of nuclei, and the role that symmetries are playing in the organization of protons and neutrons in the nucleus, and the Universe in general.

My recent and current research activities include:


  1. Studies of collective states (those in which many nucleons participate) in nuclei and the limits of collectivity in nuclei. The goal of these studies is an understanding how systems of nucleons are organized and how they form collective excitations.
  2. Studies of nuclei far from stability exploring the limits of existence, and the consequences of extreme neutron-to-proton ratios. The goal of these studies is to understand the evolution of nuclear collectivity and shell structure as one moves away from the stable nuclei and the impact that this has on nucleosynthesis.
  3. Precision measurements of nuclear decays with the aim of obtaining a more precise value for some fundamental constants of particle physics, and the search for physics beyond our currently accepted theories.
  4. Development of new and novel instrumentation for nuclear physics.  Specifically, I have developed the data acquisition system for the 8pi gamma-ray spectrometer at TRIUMF, the most sensitive spectrometer in the world dedicated to beta-decay studies, and have built the DANTE array of barium fluoride detectors to enable determination of nuclear lifetimes to a precision of 10-11 seconds.  I am currently constructing the DESCANT neutron detector array.  In addition, I am active in the the development of the GRIFFIN spectrometer, a new gamma-ray array that will be approximately 300 times more powerful than the 8pi spectrometer.

These activities often require the use of many world-wide facilities such as TRIUMF (Vancouver), Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago, USA), University of Kentucky (Lexington, USA), University of Cologne (Cologne, Germany), and the Ludwig-Maximillians University (Munich, Germany).

Please see the Nuclear Physics Group

KEYWORDS: Nuclear physics, nuclear spectroscopy, gamma-ray, neutron, and charged-particle detection, nuclear instrumentation, nuclear reactions, beta-decay, collective and single-particle excitations in nuclei.