Issue 42, March 15th, 2023

Hi Zachary,

We hope you're doing well! As always, we appreciate any feedback you have on our newsletter and are also happy to receive any items for inclusion. Please email

Connect with the community:

Share some new research or ask a question to the community at the Canadian Astroparticle Physics LinkedIn Group

For the latest physics memes, pet photos, and virtual conference chatrooms, always feel free to say "hi" in the McDonald Institute HQP Community Discord

The next instalment of the Ewan Memorial Lecture is right around the corner! Join us next Thursday for “The Fast Radio Cosmos,” presented by Dr. Victoria Kaspi. Tickets are limited for the in-person event, so register now! The event will also be streamed live online for everyone to enjoy!

Dr. Kaspi (McGill) is the Principal Investigator for CHIME, The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, and not only helped build the innovative radio telescope but saw its potential for Fast Radio Burst (FBR) detection and lead a CFI proposal to augment the initial plans and increase computing power. The experiment has detected over 1000 FBRs and is a global leader in this research. 

The George and Maureen Ewan Lecture series was endowed by Queen’s Physics Professor George Ewan and his wife Maureen in 2018 to support seminar and lecture programs designed to increase scientific discourse and culture within the Particle Astrophysics community at Queen’s University and the broader Kingston community. 

Upcoming McDonald Institute Census

The McDonald Institute is releasing the annual Census to community members in early April 2023 for the 2022/2023 fiscal year (April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023). The goal of the census is primarily to collect required data for our funding agency, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) while reducing the time and burden of the reporting process. The Census is also used to establish baselines and trends that inform financial and programmatic resource allocation -- ultimately guiding decision-making on how to best support and empower the Canadian astroparticle physics community. 

We are asking all levels of staff, faculty, and students who receive or benefit from McDonald Institute funding to complete the Census. For members of the broader community, your input is extremely important, and we ask that you also contribute. Please consider encouraging any Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) directly under your supervision to participate as well. 

Thank you in advance for your participation!

SNO+ captures first reactor neutrinos detected with ultrapure water

SNO+ has made a discovery that can assist in monitoring nuclear power stations worldwide. While filled with ultrapure water as the detector’s components were being upgraded in 2018, 190 days of data yielded an antineutrino signal from the Bruce, Darlington and Pickering nuclear generating stations hundreds of kilometres away.

This suggests the possibility of using neutrino detectors such as SNO+ to monitor a reactor’s power production from a great distance.

The finding also suggests it is possible to build neutrino detectors with ultrapure water, a non-toxic, inexpensive and easy-to-handle material. These are key factors in developing the ability to audit nuclear reactors around the world.

“This finding is a great indicator that we can expect very exciting physics from the scintillator phase, running now for nearly 10 months, well into the future,” said SNOLAB research scientist Christine Kraus.

A paper detailing the SNO+ findings, “Evidence of Antineutrinos from Distant Reactors using Pure Water at SNO+” was published by the American Physical Society’s Physics Magazine. A synopsis of the paper can be found here.

The McDonald Institute proudly offers professional development opportunities for all students, researchers, and faculty members.

Session instructors provide hands-on learning with immediate feedback to better prepare you for the lab, your research project or the next industry job you have your eyes on.  


Mitacs' Project and Time Management 

Thursday, March 30, 2023. 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM ET

Kirby James, Keynote speaker and COO at Mitacs and HG Learning Solutions Inc. will deepen your understanding of project and time management techniques, when to use certain frameworks, and how to implement them in your professional life. 

This session is the second of a two-part workshop. Part 1 must be completed asynchronously prior to registering for this session. Click here for more information and registration instructions


All sessions will be available online (and in-person for those at Queen's University; we’ll have some snacks and drinks). Be sure to register early to secure your spot.

If you have any questions regarding registration or accommodation, please feel free to reach out to Max Edgington, HQP Coordinator, at

CAP Lecture Tour

SNOLAB staff scientist Dr. Andy Kubik has been selected as a featured speaker on this year’s CAP Lecture Tour. At SNOLAB, Andy works on the SuperCDMS and CUTE projects. 

“A Universe-Wide Mystery: What is Dark Matter and How Might We Detect It?”

Tuesday, March 21 at 4:30 pm EDT.

Zoom links for the lectures are made available on the CAP website the morning of the lecture.

Astroparticle Physics Community Art Challenge

The Highly Qualified Personnel Advisory Committee (HQP-AC) is holding a community art challenge to uncover creative talent among the physics research community.

The initiative, started by Hector Hawley Herrera (HQPAC, 2022), looks to both showcase the often unnoticed and undisclosed artistic talent of researchers while simultaneously offering a virtual and physical space for creativity and community gathering.

The HQPAC Art Challenge offers three categories for the MI community to submit their artistic creations under the theme, “Day to day living”. A panel of judges selected by the HQPAC will decide the award winners. 

Image created using the Midjourney AI bot in the McDonald Institute HQP Discord server.

The entry deadline is March 30th, 2023.

For more information, including steps to submit your artwork, click here

TAUP: Call for papers

The XVIII International Conference on Topics in Astroparticle and Underground Physics (TAUP) will take place in Vienna from Aug. 28 – Sept 1. 2023.

The scientific program of the conference is divided into plenary and parallel sessions focusing on: 

  • Cosmology and Particle Physics 
  • Dark matter and its detection 
  • Neutrino physics and astrophysics 
  • Gravitational waves 
  • High-energy astrophysics and cosmic rays 

A parallel session on “Underground facilities and backgrounds" will focus on underground laboratory radioactive surveys, services (screening, material assay and specialty cleaning, etc.), and facilities (cryogenics, de-radonize air systems, electro-forming, etc.). Special attention will be given to activities related to qubits performances underground. 

Researchers are invited to submit abstracts. Don’t miss the abstract submission deadline, the 1st of May 2023. For more:

Talk Ideas for SNvD 2023 

The International Conference on Supernova Neutrino Detection, SNvD 2023 will be held at LNGS from May 29 to June 1. 

The conference will bring together theorists and experimentalists to address topics such as: 

  • the latest developments in the theory of Supernovae formation, photon, neutrino, and gravitational wave emission,
  • the lessons learned from 1987A,
  • past detectors for SN neutrinos
  • detectors in the world ready to take SN neutrinos,
  • the situation at LNGS,
  • SNEWS alert system

The conference will be the ideal place to discuss new detection ideas. Ample space will be given to discuss the SNEWS alert system and its latest developments. 

There will be both talks by invitation and contributed ones.

The abstract submission is open.

Explore opportunities in astroparticle physics!

The Careers in Astroparticle Physics website features jobs, research positions, and other career-building opportunities in the field in a highly discoverable way. Prospective and current students can easily find current postings to take their careers to the next step, or just to keep them inspired and optimistic about their future.

View the Careers website at:

We hope you find this community resource helpful!

The McDonald Institute at Queen’s University is situated in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee First Nations. The Institute is part of a national network of institutions and research centres, which operate in other traditional Indigenous territories. Visit to learn the traditional territories where astroparticle physicists are grateful to live and work across Canada.

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