|Edition 7, No. 3||Summer Quarter 1999||Price: FREE|
Editor: Carl J. Gross
Feature contributors: F. E. Bertrand and C.-H. Yu
It is with deep regret and great personal sorrow that I inform you that Jerry D. Garrett, Scientific Director of the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility, died unexpectedly on August 3, 1999. Jerry was dedicated to providing the best possible scientific program at the HRIBF. He worked tirelessly to make the HRIBF the foremost nuclear physics user facility in the United States. Jerry was first and foremost an outstanding nuclear physicist. His contributions to the science of our field are too many to enumerate, but those contributions will live on in his many publications. His support for radioactive ion beam physics is well known from his many presentations at national and international meetings. He served as a member of NSAC and on the NSAC Long Range Planning Group. Jerry was a member of many scientific review committees, both in the United States and abroad. He was in every sense of the word an international spokesman for nuclear physics, and our field will be poorer for his absence. Jerry will be missed most of all by his family, to which he was totally devoted; but he will also be missed by his colleagues at ORNL and elsewhere, both as a physicist and as a personal friend. We mourn Jerry's death, but will continue to celebrate and pursue the science he loved and knew so well.
Jerry D. Garrett was born in Springfield, Missouri, on 1 October 1940. After receiving a B.S. from the University of Missouri in 1962, he joined the United States Navy and served for four years. Following the receipt of his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970, Jerry worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and then as an Assistant and Associate Physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. During this early stage of his career, Jerry studied a variety of nuclear structure and reaction mechanism problems.
In 1975, Jerry began a 13-year career at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen, where he worked as a lecturer, and focused on research projects concerning nuclear structure at high angular momentum. As one of the leading experts in high-spin spectroscopy, Jerry made great contributions to the understanding of nuclei at extremely high angular momentum, especially nuclei in the rare earth region. Because of Jerry's expertise and in-depth knowledge of nuclear physics, he was named the Associate Editor of the journal Nuclear Physics A in 1979. During his days in Copenhagen, Jerry actively promoted international collaborations between physicists from all countries. In addition to being a frequent guest at large laboratories in the United States and western Europe, he traveled extensively to eastern Europe, Japan, China, and India to promote new physics ideas and forge international collaborations. It was also during this period that Jerry began to enthusiastically promote and help young people entering the field. With an outstanding ability to explain the most abstract physics concept in terms that even a nonscientist could understand, Jerry devoted much of his time to educating young scientists, and was frequently invited to deliver lectures at summer schools worldwide. At conferences and meetings, he often made a conscious effort to spend time to talk with young students, to discuss physics with them, or to simply chat with them about their careers. His enthusiasm about physics, his extraordinary communication skills, and most of all, his genuine desire to help people have inspired many young people and helped them become successful physicists.
In 1988, Jerry returned to the United States to assume a senior staff position with the Physics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Soon after he arrived in Oak Ridge, he became interested in physics using radioactive ion beams (RIBs) and started to explore the possibility of converting the Holifield Heavy Ion Research Facility (HHIRF) into a facility to produce RIBs for low-energy nuclear physics studies. When the HHIRF stopped operation in 1992, Jerry devoted most of his time to planning and promoting the new RIB facility at Oak Ridge. In 1993, he was named the Scientific Director of the newly founded Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF), and remained at that position until his death. The HRIBF provided the possibility to start an astrophysics research program at ORNL centered on RIBs, which Jerry enthusiastically pursued. Being always intrigued by stars and planets, Jerry eagerly educated himself on topics of nuclear astrophysics. He invited experts in nuclear astrophysics from around the world to give seminars and to attend workshops at ORNL. He also gave many talks describing how HRIBF could benefit the field of nuclear astrophysics. These efforts led to the establishment of a new nuclear astrophysics group at HRIBF in 1994. As the Scientific Director of HRIBF, and driven by a genuine belief that RIB facilities will produce exciting new physics, Jerry worked tirelessly to promote the new facility and the physics it could produce. In the past few years, he devoted most of his time to the development of a next-generation RIB facility in the United States, and led an effort at ORNL to design such a facility with the Spallation Neutron Source as the driver.
Along with his work as the Scientific Director of HRIBF, Jerry continued to pursue research. In the last few years, he became interested in the subject of order versus chaos, and analyzed nuclear levels in terms of such statistical concepts. An experimentalist by training, Jerry always rejected any sharp division between theorists and experimentalists. He once said that we should simply be called physicists. Starting from his days in Copenhagen, he actively sought close collaboration between theorists and experimentalists. While in Oak Ridge, as the co-director of the Joint Institute for Heavy Ion Research, he continued that philosophy and worked with others to make Oak Ridge one of the best places for theoretical and experimental low-energy nuclear physicists to interact effectively and on a continuous basis.
Those who have known Jerry will remember him not only as a brilliant scientist and an outstanding science administrator, but also as a man of culture and a man with generosity and kindness. He touched many lives throughout his career, and we shall miss him as a wonderful colleague and a very dear friend. Jerry is survived by his wife, Anne, and daughter, Amy, to whom he was dearly devoted.
A photograph of Jerry and a copy of this obituary may be viewed on our web site at "http://www.phy.ornl.gov/hribf/usersgroup/news/obit_jdg.html".
|Carl J. Gross|
|Mail Stop 6371|
|Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility|
|Oak Ridge National Laboratory|
|Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831 USA|