SNOLAB - Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Laboratory

Following on the success of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), culminating with the award of the 2015 Noble Prize in Physics, the SNO underground laboratory has been expanded to the new SNOLab facility which includes new experimental halls and infrastructure.  Now officially open, the new laboratory is designed to house a variety of experiments that will investigate the properties of the fundamental constituents of the universe including neutrinos and dark matter.

More information about the SNO/SNOLAB projects is available at:
http://physics.carleton.ca/sno and http://www.snolab.ca


The SNOLAB group at Carleton has research positions available associated with the EXO and DEAP experiments.

The EXO collaboration is developing detector techniques that will facilitate a precision search for the rare process known as neutrinoless double beta decay.  A definitive discovery of this process will provide new information on the properties of neutrinos and, in particular, will provide a first measurement of the neutrino mass scale. EXO-200 collaboration is currently operating a 200 kg liquid-phase physics detector near Carlsbad, New Mexico and has recently published the most sensitive limits for the search. The design of a much larger enriched xenon detector, nEXO, is under development, in parallel with R&D efforts for Ba ion tagging which would allow to complete elimination backgrounds induced by the residual radioactivity of the detector and its surroundings.

The Carleton group focuses on the following R&D activities in preparation of nEXO:

* EXO-200 simulated and data analysis

* detailed Monte Carlo simulations and analysis to predict the nEXO response and sensitivity to discovering neutrinoless double beta decay

* the development of high detection efficiency SiPM (Silicon PhotoMultipliers) which can be operated directly in LXe at cryogenic temperature

*  the R&D on HV (high voltage) issues in noble liquid detectors, specifically TPCs

* ion collection from cryogenic TPCs using an electrostatic probe in view of Ba ion tagging

Contacts:
Professor Razvan Gornea, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor Thomas Koffas, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor David Sinclair, Department of Physics, Carleton University


NSERC undergraduate student research projects available in these areas.

(1) The DEAP collaboration has installed a 3.6-tonne liquid argon detector at SNOLab to search directly for dark matter and is presently proceeding with the initial phase of the commissioning. The detector utilizes scintillation signals produced in the argon and detected with an array of PMTs (PhotoMultiplier Tubes).  The Carleton efforts focus on detector operation and data analysis. NSERC undergraduate student research projects are offered on data analysis and detector Monte Carlo simulations in combination with shifts on-site at SNOLab for the monitoring and maintenance of the detector.

Contacts:
Professor Mark Boulay, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor Kevin Graham, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor Razvan Gornea, Department of Physics, Carleton University


(2) Identification of Ba isotopes using Optical Methods:
As part of this project the interested student will work on the design, construction, characterization and performance evaluation of the Carleton-proposed Ba-tagging system. In particular he/she will contribute to the development of an experimental setup that will allow the separation of charged barium isotopes under the means of a quadrupole mass spectrometer which will then be ported into an ion trap. There the isotopes will be optically identified using ultra-stable CW lasers through a phenomena known as the two-photon resonance. Through this work the student will develop valuable skills in handling basic ion manipulation hardware (including RF components), in assembling and operating high vacuum (HV) lines and diagnostics, in operating and maintaining state of the art lasers and optical lines, in programming and communicating with scientific instrumentation (e.g. through the use of LabView and/or C++-based proprietary software), in diagnosing and fixing operational problems and in understanding the physics of Ba-ion handling and detection including important aspects of its atomic structure.

Contacts:
Professor David Sinclair, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor Thomas Koffas, Department of Physics, Carleton University