Issue 10, January 28, 2020

We hope your holiday season was wonderful and that you're having an excellent start to the new year! We are pleased as always to be bringing you a variety of news, opportunities and events from the astroparticle physics community.

We want to highlight tomorrow's IGnite event featuring Mark Chen and Queen's Chemistry Professor Cathleen Crudden. Loads of science demos and some tasty snacks make this event enjoyable for friends and family.

Please consider sharing on F acebook . Thank you!

As always, please get in touch with us about your research news, publications, and outreach events. We love to include these items in our newsletter, on our website or our social media channels. Please contact if you have something to share.

Thank you.

Mark Chen and SNO+
The Queen's University Research website is continuing to feature particle astrophysics in the latest feature on Mark Chen and the SNO+ experiment . The Research site provides publicly accessible articles on the research happening at Queen's and is a great way to share the science with other curious people in our lives.
This article ambitiously covers everything from the SNO to SNO+ transition, the search for a suitable scintillator material, geo-neutrinos, the matter-antimatter asymmetry, and even tellurium purification!

Scintillating Bubble Chamber experiment progress
The Scintillating Bubble Chamber experiment is making good progress and is expanding through the new partnership with TRIUMF. The collaboration is commissioning two identical detectors, the first at Fermilab followed by one intended for installation at SNOLAB. 
The hardware for the first detector has been produced, and the pressure vessel tests are complete. The Fermilab detector is currently being installed, and when in operation, it will be primarily used to detect coherent neutrino scattering. 
The second detector will begin construction after the first is up and running. It is expected to begin construction at SNOLAB this fall, and it will be used primarily for dark matter searches.

Astroparticle Community Planning
We covered the planning exercise in our last newsletter . The process, facilitated by SNOLAB and the McDonald Institute, aims to capture the priorities of Canadian astroparticle physics researchers.

The planning process has been launched, and we are looking forward to the submissions collected by each of the co-chairs. Submissions fall under four categories: Neutrino Properties, Neutrino Messengers, Dark Matter, and Technologies. The submissions in each of the categories will be the basis of a town hall meeting that is anticipated to be held on April 30th - May 1st.

As a result of community feedback, the deadline for all submissions has been extended to Feb 21st . If you have any questions, please reach out to your respective co-chair:
Neutrino Properties
Ken Clark -
Alex Wright -

Neutrino Messengers
Erica Caden -
Carsten Krauss -

Dark Matter
Simon Viel -
David Morrissey -

Silvia Scorza -
Fabrice Retiere -

Ningqiang Song, an IPP Early Career Theory Fellow
The purpose of the fellowship is to encourage scientific collaboration between theorists in Canada and those abroad and to enhance career prospects of the junior researchers. Ningqiang Song , a postdoc working with Aaron Vincent at Queen’s University, will travel to Copenhagen, for three weeks to work with Mauricio Bustamante at the Niels Bohr Institute .

“I will explore the prospect of new physics search in future neutrino telescopes from ultra high energy cosmogenic neutrino-nucleon scattering, with special focus on new heavy particles which mediate the interaction.”

Click here to view Ningqiang's McDonald Institute HQP profile.
Incidentally, Ningqiang and Aaron have just co-published an article:

" Discovery and spectroscopy of dark matter and dark sectors with microscopic black holes at next-generation colliders. "

McDonald Institute Visiting Scientist Elaine Fortes
Earlier in the month, Queen's University, through the McDonald Institute Visiting Scientist Program, hosted Dr. Elaine Fortes from the  Universidade Federal do Pampa  in Brazil.

Elaine’s current research is looking at x-ray and gamma-ray fluctuations in globular clusters for signals of dark matter. She is developing ways that gamma-rays and x-rays can be included in multi-messenger research along with gravitational waves, high-energy neutrinos and other electromagnetic radiation.
Elaine thoroughly enjoyed her stay in Canada, working with  Aaron Vincent Joe Bramante Larry Widrow , and the theory physics students; Amit Bhoonah, Sarah Schön, Alan Goodman, and others. Elaine explains that the group at Queen’s is unique in the diversity of research interests such as dwarf galaxies, theoretical physics, and astroparticle physics, which offers some interesting perspectives and background to her work.

Read the full feature here:

For more information about the Visiting Scientist Program, please visit:

Upcoming Events and Conferences:
"Effective science communication and active public engagement in science are essential components of civil society. Being scientifically literate as an adult means being empowered and being able to make fully informed decisions based on facts. Being an effective science communicator should be a core competency for all scientists and is a skill set needed in all sectors, industry, business, government, policy, media and marketing and more. We need to build a richer science culture in Canada, and we need really good science communicators to help make that happen." - Imogen R Coe, Ph.D

May 10-16 2020

The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) is an intensive week-long undergraduate school that will introduce students to the current topics in the field of astroparticle physics at Queen’s University and SNOLAB.
For more information, please visit:

The deadline for applications has been extended to February 7th, 2020:

New AstroParticle Bites:
The latest Astroparticlebites article " Dark Sausages and Effective Operators" by Shawn Westerdale explores the Article: “Implications of the Gaia Sausage for Dark Matter Nuclear Interactions.”
By Jatan Buch, JiJi Fan, John Shing Chau Leung

Read Westerdale's article here:
Figure 4. The inferred velocity distribution of dark matter in the galaxy, accounting for the standard halo (labelled “Halo”) and dark matter contained in the Sausage (labelled “Substructure”), compared to the pure SHM. Take from the paper.
Shawn Westerdale

I am a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University in Ottawa, working on the DEAP-3600 direct dark matter detection experiment. I completed my PhD at Princeton, working on the DarkSide-50 experiment. And before that, I worked on the MiniCLEAN experiment for my bachelor's at MIT. As a hipster physicist, I was into dark matter detectors when they were still underground.
Physicists sought by BTI
Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) is hiring physicists. The Chalk River, ON provider of radiation & explosives detection equipment and consulting services is seeking an experimental physicist with a graduate degree in nuclear, particle, or medical physics. It is also seeking a computational physicist and an electronics engineer/designer. BTI was spun out of AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories by Dr. Harry Ing in 1988 to commercialize a novel bubble detector system. It has since grown to a team of more than 50 professionals addressing a number of problems in radiation safety, space operations, defence & security applications and other fields. To learn more about the company and these new positions, see