Carleton University’s Mark Boulay, physics professor and Canada Research Chair in Particle Astrophysics and Subatomic Physics, has received $3,350,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support the study of neutrinos and dark matter at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ont.
“Particle and subatomic physics research at Carleton is driven by leading researchers who are committed to innovation and collaboration,” said Boulay. “These new resources will further drive the important work we are doing. We are grateful for the continued support of CFI and their dedication to excellence.”
“Carleton has a strong record in physics research that is vital to our understanding of the world and our universe,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “CFI’s support will help researchers pursue their goals while solidifying the university’s position as a leading research institution.”
While the actual mass of a neutrino is unknown, experimental limits imply that it is orders of magnitude smaller than masses of the other fundamental particles of nature. A measurement that would shed light on the neutrino mass, the origin of that mass, and further the understanding of the formation of our universe is the detection of an extremely rare process known as neutrino-less double beta decay (NDBD).
The funds will go toward supporting the Facility for Development of Noble Liquid Detectors and Optical Readout for Subatomic Physics and Particle Astrophysics. This facility will enable world-leading research into next generation detectors for NDBD and dark matter.
Another puzzling mystery is the origin of dark matter in our universe, which outweighs conventional matter by a factor of five to one. Direct detection of a dark matter particle, even more elusive than the neutrino, would point to a solution to this long-standing problem, with profound implications for astrophysics and particle physics.