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Queen's Particle Astrophysics - Faculty

Gilles Gerbier

Gilles Gerbier (contact)

My research is primarily focused on the direct detection of dark matter and the development of innovative instrumentation. My group is currently developing a 1.4 meter diameter spherical gaseous detector that will be used to search for WIMPs in the GeV to subGeV mass range. This detector is to be encased in lead and polyethylene shields, placed deep underground at SNOLAB to protect from external sources of radiation. This research involves design, simulations, physics analysis and skills to reduce background in detectors, and to understand and optimise detector response. R&D is also conducted at Queen's University to use these kinds of detectors for radiation (neutron and gamma) measurements. I am also, with my colleagues Wolfgang Rau and Philippe Di Stefano, setting up a new facility, CUTE, in SNOLAB. This will be used to test cryogenic detectors for SuperCDMS and EURECA collaborations. Please feel free to e-mail me. I am always looking for motivated team members, from undergraduates to Post-Doctoral fellows, who are interested in dark matter and are looking for a challenge.

Mark Chen

(home page, contact) Mark Chen

My research interests include: neutrino physics, geoneutrinos, dark matter and cosmic rays. Our group is developing the SNO+ detector, a follow-up experiment to SNO in which we will replace heavy water with liquid scintillator. This will enable precision study of the neutrino-matter interaction and the detection of geoneutrinos, which can be used as a probe of the deep Earth. It's possible that we can search for neutrinoless double beta decay using SNO+ loaded with neodymium. I'm a member of the DEAP experiment. An additional project of mine is the attempt to detect ultra high energy cosmic rays hitting the Moon by using the GMRT radio telescope in India to look for weak radio impulses from the lunar surface.

Philippe Di Stefano

Philippe Di Stefano (not pictured) (home page, contact)

The nature of the dark matter that makes up most of the matter in the Universe remains an enigma after over seventy years. Cryogenic detectors that operate at temperatures barely above absolute zero have some of the best sensititives to the putative weakly-interacting, massive, particles (WIMPs) that could elucidate this mystery. I currently work on the SuperCDMS experiment that aims to deploy 100 kg of such detectors in the SNOLAB underground laboratory near Sudbury. My research interests also include development of low-temperature scintillators and novel applications of cryogenic detectors to materials science. Students (graduate and undergraduate) or postdoc candidates who are motivated by this type of experimental work should not hesitate to contact me to discuss possible projects.

Tony Noble

(home page, contact) Tony Noble

My research interests are focused on aspects of astroparticle physics. I am leading the Queen's effort in the PICO Dark Matter search collaboration while winding up activities on the SNO project. Our PICO group is responsible for elements of detector design, construction and operation, as well as determining ways to reduce the radioactive backgrounds that otherwise limit our sensitivity. Students participate in hardware, software and physics analysis. I am also actively involved in establishing SNOLAB as the premier international facility for underground astroparticle physics. I am always keen to hear from prospective graduate students.

Wolfgang Rau

Wolfgang Rau (contact)

My research is focused on direct search for dark matter, primarily working with cryogenic detectors being developed for SuperCDMS. I am very interested in understanding the physics of the detectors which is essential for understanding the data as well as for improving the detectors or finding new operational modes. I am also involved in data analysis, Monte Carlo simulations and background reduction. As leader of the Canadian invovlement in SuperCDMS I am pushing forward with the next phase of the experiment to be installed at SNOLAB.

Alex Wright

(home page, contact) Alex Wright

Since arriving back at Queen's in the fall of 2012 as an Institute of Particle Physics Research Scientist, my research effort has focused on SNO+. Most recently, I am working on the water purification system that will provide the ultra-pure water to shield the active scintillator volume, and on the method that will be used to load isotope into the scintillator for the SNO+ neutrinoless double beta decay phase.

Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin (contact)

My research is focused on advancing our understanding of neutrinos and dark matter by conducting experiments located in deep underground laboratories such as SNOLAB. I am particularly interested in technologies that can have multiple applications; for example, I am currently developing germanium detector technologies to both understand neutrinos and to search for the existence of dark matter. I am a member of the SNO+, MAJORANA, NEWS-G, and MINER Collaborations and I am always looking for new members to join my research team.

Guillaume Giroux

(contact) Guillaume Giroux

I was recently appointed to Queen's University and CPARC as assistant professor in experimental particle astrophysics. My research interests encompass the search for dark matter, the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay, and low- background techniques. Prior to my new appointment, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Queen's University working with Dr. Tony Noble on the PICO dark matter search experiments at SNOLAB where I acted as the data analysis coordinator for the PICO collaboration. I earned my doctoral degree in 2012 from Bern University, Switzerland, working with Dr. Jean-Luc Vuilleumier. My dissertation research focused on the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay of Xenon-136 within the EXO collaboration. After graduating, I continued working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Vuilleumier on the development of a novel light detection scheme for use in medium-pressure gas time projection chambers (TPCs). I also hold a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. from Université de Montréal where I worked with Dr. Viktor Zacek on the detector fabrication, installation, and data analysis of the PICASSO experiment.



Hugh Evans

George Ewan (home page, contact)

Hamish Leslie (contact)

Hay-Boon Mak (contact)

Art McDonald

Art McDonald (home page, contact)

Co-Recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics

My research activities are as follows: The completion of the SNO data to provide an independent check of our earlier results and a more precise determination of the neutrino mixing properties. The SNO+ project that is to look in detail at low-energy solar neutrinos for further detailed information about neutrino mixing parameters, as well as neutrinoless double beta decay with 130Te added to liquid scintillator in the SNO detector. The DEAP/CLEAN project with the potential to provide greatly increased sensitivity for Dark Matter detection with liquid noble gas.

Barry Robertson

(contact) Barry Robertson

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