Garrett A. Piech

Work Address
Department of Physics
1150 University Avenue
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
  Home Address
736 Sauk Ridge Trail, Apt. C
Madison, WI 53705


I am an experimental physicist with a diverse educational background that includes electrical engineering, chemistry, and biology. I am seeking a challenging position in engineering and applied physics that would utilize my experimental, analytical, and multidisciplinary skills.


Ph. D. Applied Physics, May 1998 University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Minor distributed in Electrical Engineering, Statistics, Medical Physics.
Thesis: "Cross Sections for Electron Excitation of Excited Atoms," directed by Professor Chun C. Lin.
B.A. Physics with High Honors, cum laude, June 1992 Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
Undergraduate Thesis: "Investigation of an Open Fabry-Perot cavity," directed by Professor John Walsh.


I am a flexible scientist with strong problem-solving skills, and I am able to adapt to new challenges both inside and outside of the laboratory. I possess the physical science knowledge, computational experience, and mathematical skills to attack a wide variety of physics and engineering problems.

Problem Solving
Strong analytical skills in visualizing and solving experimental physics and engineering problems.
Experience in design and construction of novel experimental apparatus.
Liberal arts education including numerous courses in math, engineering, economics, physical and organic chemistry, cellular biology and genetics.
Additional graduate coursework including semiconductor diode lasers and arrays, optical signal processing, imaging in medicine, digital signal processing, and statistical experimental design.
Experimental Expertise
Experimental atomic physics-thorough knowledge of quantum mechanics, statistical physics, electromagnetic theory, advanced mechanics, optics, lasers, and electronics.
Design and use of optical systems from the ultra-violet to the infrared - lenses, mirrors, prisms, polarization optics, fiber optics, diffraction gratings, nonlinear optics, visible and infrared detectors, and numerous other optical elements.
Design, programming and use of computerized data acquisition and control systems.
Programming in C, Pascal, and Fortran. Use of Windows, MacOS, and UNIX operating systems.
Design and construction of electron guns; energy and spatial analysis of charged particle beams.
Design and use of vacuum systems down to 10-10 torr
Detailed knowledge of atomic collision physics of rare gases including metastable atoms and excimers.
Production and detection of metastable atomic species.
Direct current and microwave powered discharge plasmas.
Use and maintenance of Argon ion lasers, and single-mode actively-stabilized Ti:Sapphire lasers.
Construction and use of grating-stabilized, microwave-modulated diode lasers for spectroscopy, and atom trapping and cooling with magneto-optical traps.
Optical signal and image processing.
Use of mathematical analysis packages such as MATLAB and Mathematica.
Atomic and molecular spectroscopy, analysis of fluorescence, scattered and absorbed light.
Absolute calibration and precision measurements using optical detection systems.
Team work
Have worked as a member of a successful research group to help design and construct a variety of experimental physics projects, and have directed and overseen new graduate students.

Work Experience

Research Assistant 1993-1998
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thesis Research: I performed a comprehensive study of the electron excitation of metastable He, showing the unique trends and patterns of metastable excitation that previously had not been experimentally observed. I also obtained some of the only measurements for electron excitation cross sections of metastable Ar, and these results have been of particular interest to industrial scientists in the semiconductor processing and lighting industries.

Teaching Assistant 1992-1993
1992-1993 University of Wisconsin-Madison
Taught discussion sections and labs for introductory-level physics courses designed for physics and engineering majors, and also for courses designed for non-science majors.

Fly-Fishing Guide
Three Rivers Ranch, Warm River, Idaho
As an Orvis-endorsed guide, I took clients on both wading and float-fishing trips on the rivers of eastern Idaho and southern Montana.


"Electron impact excitation out of the metastable levels of argon into the 3p54p J=3 level", John B Boffard, Garrett A Piech, Mark F Gehrke, Mark E Lagus, L W Anderson and Chun C Lin, Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 29 L795 (1996).

"Cross Sections for electron excitation out of the 23S metastable level of He into higher triplet levels", Garrett A Piech, Mark E Lagus, L W Anderson and Chun C Lin, Physical Review A 55 2842 (1997).

"Electron excitation out of the 23S metastable level of He into high-n triplet levels", Garrett A Piech, J Ethan Chilton, LW Anderson and Chun C. Lin, accepted by Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 31 859 (1998).

Recent Presentations

"Methods for production of metastable atom targets for electron excitation experiments" Gaseous Electronics Conference 1997.

"Comprehensive cross section results for electron-impact excitation out of the 23S level of He" American Physical Society Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP) meeting 1997.

"Absolute cross sections for electron impact excitation out of the metastable levels of Ar" DAMOP 1996.


Professor Chun C. Lin
John and Abigail Van Vleck
Professor of Physics

University of Wisconsin-Madison
1150 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
Professor L.W. Anderson
Julian Mack Professor of Physics
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1150 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
Professor Dan Botez
Philip Dunham Reed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison,WI 53706