Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz

Assistant Professor of Physics
Focused on the study of atoms and molecules containing short-lived radioactive nuclei for fundamental physics research.
Affiliated Center(s): Laboratory for Nuclear Science
Assistant Phone: (617) 253-2391

Research Interests

His research actives are focused on the development of laser spectroscopy techniques to investigate the properties of subatomic particles using atoms and molecules made up of short-lived radioactive nuclei. His experimental work provides unique information about the fundamental forces of nature, the properties of nuclear matter at the limits of existence, and the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics at MIT. His research actives are focused on the development of laser spectroscopy techniques to investigate the properties of subatomic particles using atoms and molecules made up of short-lived radioactive nuclei. His experimental work provides unique information about the fundamental forces of nature, the properties of nuclear matter at the limits of existence, and the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.

Ronald grew up in a small town in the Colombian mountains. As a teenager he moved to Bogota, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2009 at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. After earning a Master’s degree in Physics in 2011 at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, he moved to Belgium to start his PhD degree at KU Leuven. Ronald was based at CERN during most of his PhD working on laser spectroscopy techniques for the study of short-lived atomic nuclei. After his PhD, he became a Research Associate at The University of Manchester (2016-2017). In 2018, he was awarded a CERN Research Fellowship to lead the local CRIS team. At CERN, he has led several experimental programmes motivated by modern developments in nuclear science, atomic physics and quantum chemistry.

Awards & Honors

  • 2020 // DOE Early Career Research Award
  • 2020 // Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) Visiting Scholar Award
  • 2020 // Fundamental Physics and Innovation Award - Convening Award - Gordon & Betty Moore, American Physical Society (APS)
  • 2019 // MISTI Global Seed Fund award
  • 2018-19 // CERN Research Fellowship. CERN, Switzerland
  • 2018 // IOP Nuclear Physics Group Early Career Prize. Institute of Physics (IOP), UK
  • 2018 // Best PhD Thesis prize (period 2015-2017) Nuclear Physics Division of the European Physical Society (EPS)
  • 2011-15 // PhD scholarship, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2009-11 // Graduate Studies Fellowship, National Congress of Sci. and Tech. CONACYT, Mexico
  • 2008 // Summer student scholarship, ORNL, USA
  • 2006-09 // Undergraduate fellowship, Department of Physics, Univ. Nacional de Colombia

Key Publications

  • Garcia Ruiz et al. “Spectroscopy of short-lived radioactive molecules”. Nature 581, 396 (2020).

  • Groote et al. “Measurement and microscopic description of odd–even variations of charge radii of exotic copper isotopes”. Nature Physics 16, 620 (2020).

  • Gorges et al. “Laser Spectroscopy of Neutron-Rich Tin Isotopes: A Discontinuity in Charge Radii across the  Shell Closure”. Physical review letters 122 (19), 192502 (2019).

  • Garcia Ruiz et al. “High-precision multi-photon ionization of accelerated laser-ablated species”. Physical Review X 8, 041005 (2018).

  • Garcia Ruiz et al. “Unexpectedly large charge radii of neutron-rich calcium isotopes”. Nature Physics 12, 594 (2016).