Greg Hackman received a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta in 1991. He went on to complete his Ph.D. thesis on superdeformed bands in samarium nuclei at McMaster University in 1995 and continued this work at Argonne National Laboratory. He started work with radioactive beams as a research associate at Michigan State University and as an assistant professor at University of Kansas.
At TRIUMF, Greg is responsible for the operation and maintenance of TIGRESS (TRIUMF-ISAC Gamma-Ray Escape Suppressed Spectrometer). TIGRESS allows researchers to study the structure of the nucleus and the forces that hold it together by analyzing rare nuclear reactions. In ISAC-II, beams of exotic nuclei are accelerated to energies sufficient for them to undergo Coulomb excitation, nucleon transfer, and nuclear fusion reactions in the thin-foil target at the centre of TIGRESS. An array of germanium crystals detects the gamma rays that result from these processes. Greg played a major role in the building and commissioning of TIGRESS. He supervised the development of pulse-shape analysis technologies for sub-segment position resolution and was responsible for the design and operation of a dedicated detector-testing facility. TIGRESS is now fully operational and is used in a wide range of experiments.
Greg also works on the 8pi spectrometer, studying gamma rays from the decays of neutron-rich nuclei at somewhat lower energies. On 8pi, Greg has been responsible for electronics, data acquisition, and liquid nitrogen upgrades. Using his expertise in gamma-ray spectroscopy, he works to further our understanding of nuclear physics.