Deep inside the Canadian Shield, two kilometres under Sudbury, a massive physics lab is unravelling the secrets of the universe.
In the sheltered darkness, alongside a working mine, the SNOLAB has helped Canadian experimental physicists find out why the sun shines, and continue the search for the ever-elusive dark matter. SNOLAB’s director Art McDonald, a Nobel laureate and Order of Canada recipient, is a bit of a rockstar in the tight-knit world of physics.
McDonald has used that subterranean lab to prove the existence of neutrinos — subatomic particles that are one of the building blocks of the universe. It earned him his Nobel prize and accolades the world over. Last week, just days before the international particle physics conference Neutrino 2016 begins in London, England, an exhibit showcasing the world class science of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) and SNOLAB opened at Canada House, near Trafalgar Square. It runs until Sept. 17.
This interactive exhibit tells the story of the Nobel Prize winning results from SNO and the current experiments underway at SNOLAB. Scientists from SNO and SNOLAB worked closely with the design team at Science North in Sudbury to create the exhibit. Production was by Toronto designers and constructors Reich+ Petch and the Taylor Group.
To help you catch up on the science behind the talk, Perimeter’s Damian Pope, a quantum physicist and education outreach manager, explained to the National Post what neutrinos are, how we found them and why SNOLAB is so freaking cool.
Q: Who is Art McDonald in the world of physics?
A: He’s an experimentalist and really kind of world-famous in the world of neutrino physics. He led a large team of people that cracked the mystery of the solar neutrino problem — basically about how our sun actually shines.
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