Dean R. Russell BettsProfessor of Physics
R. Russell Betts, Ph.D., joined IIT from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he served as vice provost for planning and programs and professor of physics.
Betts earned his Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, and Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Oxford University. A professor of physics at UIC since 1993, Betts also was a physicist and senior physicist at Argonne National Laboratory from 1979-1999. Prior to that, he served as assistant professor of physics at Yale University, where he worked in the A. W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory.
Betts' research interests have been wide-ranging in the fields of atomic, nuclear and high-energy physics. His work is well known in the study of cluster structure in atomic nuclei, and he discovered several important phenomena in this field. As spokesman of the APEX experiment at Argonne, he spearheaded the U.S. effort to resolve one of the most tantalizing problems of atomic and nuclear physics — the well-known "Positron Peak Problem." Most recently, he led a UIC group in studies of high-energy density QCD matter (quark matter) at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. He is co-author of over 200 articles and book chapters and has delivered more than 50 invited conference and symposium presentations at national and international meetings.
Betts is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and an award-winning teacher. He has served as consultant and advisor to national laboratories and national and international funding organizations and conference committees. At UIC he participated in many department, college and university-wide activities including chairing promotion and tenure, conflict of interest and strategic thinking committees, as well as the campus Faculty in Residence Program.