Paul Garrett

Dr. Paul Garrett
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x52192
MacN 220
Available positions for grads/undergrads/postdoctoral fellows: 
Inquire by email

Education and Employment Background

Prof. Paul Garrett received his PhD in Nuclear Physics from McMaster University in 1993. In the fall of 1992, he joined the Atomic and Nuclear Physics Group at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, for his first post-doctoral position which was followed in the fall of 1994 with a second post-doctoral position at the University of Kentucky, USA. He held a Staff Physicist position within the N-Division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1998 to 2005. In 2004, he joined the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph as an Associate Professor, and in 2009 he was promoted to Professor. 

Research Themes

Prof. Garrett’s research spans a wide variety of areas in low-energy nuclear physics, using multiple techniques at various facilities around the world to perform experiments. Through several international collaborations, he seeks 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. 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). Key research themes 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 to understand 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. Prof. Garrett seeks 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. Prof. Garrett and his team are seeking 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.  Prof. Garrett has 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 has built the DANTE array of barium fluoride detectors to enable determination of nuclear lifetimes to a precision of 10-11 seconds. He is constructing the DESCANT neutron detector array. In addition, he is active in the development of the GRIFFIN spectrometer, a new gamma-ray array that will be approximately 300 times more powerful than the 8pi spectrometer.


  • NSERC Discovery Grant, 2015-2020
  • TRIUMF Policy and Planning Advisory Committee, 2016-2019
  • Extraordinary Professor, The University of the Western Cape (June 2016 - May 2019), Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Board Appointed Treasurer, Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics, 2008-2009, 2013-2014
  • Early Researcher Award, Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario, 2008
  • Award of Excellence, National Nuclear Security Administration, 2000, 2004

Media Coverage

Nuclear Structure

Grants and Awards

Physics Department Chair Position