Richard Lawrence Garwin (born April 19, 1928, in Cleveland, Ohio), is an American physicist. He received his bachelor's degree from the Case Institute of Technology in 1947 and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1949, where he worked in the lab of Enrico Fermi. Dr. Marvin L. Goldberger claimed that Fermi would have said that Garwin was the only true genius he had ever met (that may be true at that time but Fermi said the same thing from Majorana afterwards).
Garwin is IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. For many years he was an adjunct professor of physics at Columbia University and, from 1952, a scientist at the IBM Watson Laboratory at Columbia University, retiring from IBM in 1993. He has also been an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.
Among other things, Garwin was the author of the actual design used in the first hydrogen bomb (code-named Mike) in 1952. He was assigned the job by Edward Teller, with the instructions that he was to make it as conservative a design as possible in order to prove the concept was feasible (as such, the Mike device was not intended to be a deployable weapon design, with tons of cryogenic equipment required for its use).
Garwin is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He also served on the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States in 1998. He is also a member of the JASON Defense Advisory Group.
- William J. Broad (November 16, 1999). "Physicist and Rebel Is Bruised, Not Beaten". The New York Times.
- Brennan, Jean Ford, The IBM Watson Laboratory at Columbia University: A History, IBM, Armonk, New York, February 18, 1971. Cf. pp.31-43. "By the end of 1952, Richard L. Garwin, a former pupil of Professor Enrico Fermi, had come to the Lab from the University of Chicago where he had been an assistant professor of nuclear physics."
- "Richard L. Garwin receives the National Medal of Science", IBM Research press release, October 27, 2003
- National Science Foundation, "Richard L. Garwin", The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details.
- Earl Lane (January 17, 2006). "Physicist Richard Garwin: A Life In Labs And The Halls Of Power". American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Edward Teller, Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing, 2001), p. 327.
- "Board of Sponsors". The Bulletin Online. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- Annotated Bibliography for Richard Garwin from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
- Dr. Richard Garwin's personal web site
- The Garwin Archive
- Oral History interview transcript with Richard Garwin 23 October 1986, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives
- Oral History interview transcript with Richard Garwin 7 June 2001, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives
- Oral History interview transcript with Richard Garwin 24 June 1991, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives