Issue 08, October 31 2018

Happy Dark Matter Day! Be sure to follow #DarkMatterDay on twitter to see all of the events, posts and jokes!

We hope you enjoy this fall edition of the McDonald Institute newsletter. Thank you for your continued support.
Upcoming deadline for HQP Pooled Resources
The Current call for applications to the HQP Pooled Resources competition is drawing to a close. The application is not overly time consuming, so if you have a need for support, please consider submitting an application. Please note, the intent of this competition is to bolster graduate students. 

Description: Funding for salary costs of research personnel (post-doctoral, graduate, undergraduate students, or technical research personnel) that offsets the real costs to a researcher (excluding scholarships, or salaries gained by teaching assistants, research assistants etc.).

Eligibility: Any faculty supervisor at a Canadian academic institution, that is eligible to hold funds from the granting agencies (or currently receives CFREF funding), with a focus on astroparticle physics, can apply for support of an HQP position.

Call Opened: October 4th, 2019
Application Deadline: November 4th, 2019
Results Released: Late November, 2019

Application resources:

Completed applications may be sent to with the subject line: HQP Pooled Resources Round 5 – {Faculty Last Name}.

CUTE is taking data!

The Cryogenic Underground Test facility (CUTE) offers a unique environment to test cryogenic detectors used to search for Dark Matter or other rare phenomena. The central component is a cryogen-free dilution refrigeration unit mounted within a dry well in the centre of a 3.6 m diameter water tank shield. Lead and high-density polyethylene have additionally been installed to provide even further shielding to the detectors.
With this protected environment, CUTE’s operational objective is to do performance tests, calibrations and background measurements with cryogenic detectors and may even be used directly for rare event searches.

The initial user of CUTE is the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS), the successor to previous generations of CDMS experiments, which is located within SNOLAB, providing significantly more shielding from cosmic rays and radioactive decay byproducts than past environments. Among the first objectives is the testing of very low threshold SuperCDMS detectors.
A few cool-down tests of CUTE were performed successfully, and a base temperature of less than 15 mK was reached. Currently, the CUTE team is testing the vibration isolation system and after confirmation of proper functioning, will announce the full commissioning of the facility.
Equity champion links diversity to excellence in science.
Prof. Imogen Coe, founding Dean of Science at Ryerson University and noted Canadian thought leader on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in research, spoke to astroparticle Physics research leaders in August.

"Don't tell me that girls aren't interested in STEM." - Dr. Coe

Professor Coe's reviewed sociological research that links research productivity to the diversity of investigating teams.
Coe gives acknowledgement to the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee Territories of the land and talks about the Two-Row Wampum Treaty of 1613.
The 1.5-day meeting in Toronto was hosted by the McDonald Institute to motivate 2020-2030 strategic planning for Canada's contributions to astroparticle physics research.
A daylong series of discussions addressed opportunities for research, the national funding environment, the current state of research, and a guided conversation about developing scientific career leadership.
Launch of new Queen's Research site featuring
"Dark Matter Detectives"
Queen's University recently launched its new Research site. The site is a culmination of over two years of strategy and planning and features a wide range of research topics at Queen's.

Among the first articles to be published is Dark Matter Detectives: The Hunt for the Missing Mass of the Universe featuring the NEWS-G, SuperCDMS and PICO experiments. The article is written for public engagement and is a great way to share astroparticle physics with friends and family, so we encourage you to share through your channels.
illustrations by Zac Kenny
Summer G.I.R.L.S. Camp success
The various activities were closely guided by scientists such as Heidi Miller, an electrical engineer & ultra-fast laser physicist.
The Girls In Research, Leadership & Science Summer Camp (GIRLS Camp), organized by Queen's Grad students with educational support by SNOLAB's Dr. Erica Caden, was a great success this summer.

The girls, aged 11-13, spent the week participating in a series of laboratory experiments, projects, and activities that investigated elusive questions in physics from the nature of the cosmos to dark matter.
Following a research presentation given by students to scientists and parents at the end of the week, one mother said; “I felt the camp helped [my daughter] come out of her shell. She obviously felt comfortable and the experience helped draw out her confidence.”

Read the full story here

New AstroParticle Bites Articles!

We had two great AstroParticle Bites in September. One from Benjamin Tam about the WATCHMAN Collaboration and another from Shawn Westerdale on WIMPzillas!

The latest article is a guest post from Islam Kahn on a paper from Fireman, Hill, Stebbins, and Waga on Ultra-light Pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone Bosons Read it here.

Thank you and Happy Halloween!