Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Daniel Watts

(Former employee or visitor)

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Research Interests

Prof Watts' research exploits intense beams of electrons or high energy photons to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of strongly interacting matter. The experiments are carried out at overseas laboratories such as the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory (JLab) in the USA and the Mainz Microtron (MAMI) in Germany.

Precision measurements on nuclei characterise the size and shape of the neutron skin, which constrains the equation of state for neutron rich matter. This impacts our understanding of compact astrophysical objects such as neutron stars.  Prof Watts leads experiments and equipment developments to extract the excitation spectrum of the nucleon, which will test if our theory of the strong interaction (Quantum Chromo Dynamics) can fully describe pheneomena at the distance scales appropriate to the atomic nucleus. Research using mesons (bound systems of two quarks) offers further insight into the quark confinement process. Prof Watts is a spokeseperson on a major new "MesonEx" experiment at JLab to hunt for exotic hybrid mesons which will give new constraints on our understanding of the quark confinement process and mass generation mechanisms.   



Prof Watts teaches the quantum physics topics in the first year physics course (Physics 1B) and is also an experimental lab head. He also teaches the Musical Acoustics and Introductory Musical acoustics courses. At postgraduate level he teaches the Nuclear Forces and Reaction Theory course within the SUPA graduate school 



Research activities & awards

  1. Nature (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

  2. External examiner for undergraduate Physics degree programme

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examiner or Assessor

  3. Baryons 2013 - member of organising committee

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

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ID: 16622