Dark Matter Day at SNOLAB

Bullet Cluster 

There is much more to the universe than we can see. In fact, we are only seeing about 5% of it.  

The remainder is comprised of dark matter and dark energy. Dark Matter Day is an initiative of the Interactions Collaboration, a global group of particle physics communicators, that aims to shine a light on this mystery and on the work of scientists to understand this silent, unseen, and massive presence in our universe.  

On and around October 31, 2017 when the world celebrates the historic hunt for the unseen, SNOLAB will be no exception. We are organizing dark matter day events and activities over the month of October. Find something that interests you from the list below and attend an event in person or join us online. Be sure to check back often for surprise events and mystery guests!  

Don't be afraid of the dark; follow along and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SNOLABscience.



Dark Matter Pumpkin Search at Dynamic Earth

As part of the spook-tacular, family friendly Halloween activities happening at Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, visitors can find the galaxy pumpkins and collect the dark matter clues to learn about one of the universe's greatest unsolved mysteries in this fun dark matter themed scavenger hunt!  

WHEN: October 20th-29th, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 11:00pm 

WHERE: Dynamic Earth,122 Big Nickel Road, Sudbury ON 
COST:  Regular science centre admission


Pop Culture Science Cafe at the Taphouse 

How does pop culture influence science and research? Can pop culture play a role in making science more relevant? Ken Clark, a SNOLAB scientist specializing in dark matter research will join a group of panelists and members of the community to discuss science, pop-culture and how dark matter fits into the conversation.    

WHEN:  Tuesday October 17th at 7:00pm 

WHERE: Taphouse Northern Grill and Pub, 1500 Regent Street, Sudbury ON 

LINK: https://sciencenorth.ca/promos/sciencecafes/

COST: Free admission


Dark Matter Show at the Doran Planetarium 

Cosmology looks at the origin, evolution and structure of the universe like a giant puzzle. Join us in Northern Ontario's largest planetarium to learn how dark matter fits into the cosmic puzzle!

WHEN: Thursday October 19th from 7:30pm - 8:30pm 

WHERE: Fraser Building, Laurentian University, 935 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury ON 

LINK: https://laurentian.ca/planetarium

COST: Free admission


Dark Matter Pop-up at the Sudbury Market  

SNOLAB is bringing fun, family friendly activities to the Sudbury Market that explore dark matter, the hunt for this illusive particle and the dark matter detectors that are underground at SNOLAB!

WHEN:  Saturday October 28th from 9:00am - 1:00pm 

WHERE: CP/VIA Rail Station on Elgin Street, Sudbury ON 

LINK:   https://www.greatersudbury.ca/play/the-market/ 

COST: Free admission


Dark Matter Live Webcast from SNOLAB

Join SNOLAB Research Scientist Chris Jillings for a live webcast about the dark matter research he is conducting in the lab and to discuss what we know and don't know about dark matter. Get your questions ready!  

WHEN:  Monday October 30th from 1:00am - 1:30am

WHERE: Online, link TBA

LINK: https://pirweb.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QjVGdewaRp2p-PuhayOqkA



Dark Matter Lesson Plans

► Classroom Kit: This grade 11 and 12 classroom kit from Perimeter Institute can be downloaded in English or French, free of charge from the Perimeter website. The kit provides teachers with print and digital resources to support hands-on, student exploration of concepts related to gravity and orbital motion, gravitational lensing, measuring mass of galaxies, and theories of dark matter.

LINK: The Mystery of Dark Matter classroom kit


Lesson Plan:  In this lesson plan from Sonoma State University students in grades 9-12 will learn about dark matter how scientists are trying to detect this matter that is not visible.  In the lab activity students will use several methods to determine what "hidden matter" lies between two paper plates. 

LINK: Dark Matter: Probing What You Can't See (lesson plan)

LINK: Dark Matter: Probing What You Can't See (lab activity) 


► Dark Matter Handout: This dark matter handout from SNOLAB provides an introduction to dark matter and to the dark matter experiments currently underway at SNOLAB.  

LINK: Dark Matter Handout in English 

LINK: Dark Matter Handout in French 


► Jelly Bean Universe: The energy and matter distribution of the universe explained using jelly beans.  

LINK: Multimedia Jelly Bean Universe

Dark Matter TedED Lessons

Dark Matter: The matter we can't see:  The Greeks had a simple and elegant formula for the universe: just earth, fire, wind, and water. Turns out there's more to it than that -- a lot more. Visible matter (and that goes beyond the four Greek elements) comprises only 4% of the universe. CERN scientist James Gillies tells us what accounts for the remaining 96% (dark matter and dark energy) and how we might go about detecting it.

LINK:  Dark matter: The matter we can't see by James Gillies


Shedding a Light on Dark Matter:  Physicist Patricia Burchat sheds light on two basic ingredients of our universe: dark matter and dark energy. Comprising 96% of the universe between them, they can't be directly measured, but their influence is immense.

LINK: Shedding light on dark matter  by Patricia Burchat


Could we Create Dark Matter:  Eighty-five percent of the matter in our universe is dark matter. We don’t know what dark matter is made of, and we’ve yet to directly observe it, but scientists theorize that we may actually be able to create it in the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle collider in the world. So how would that work? CERN scientist Rolf Landua explains how to discover a new particle.

LINK: Could we create dark matter? by Rolf Landua


Dark Matter Video Games

► Created to accompany the Perimeter Explorations "Mystery of Dark Matter" classroom kit, this video game challenges students to apply what they've learned as they add stars, planets, and black holes to a galaxy.

LINK: PI Dark Matter Video Game

Link:  Information and resources for PI Dark Matter Video Game

► A dark matter game from McGraw-Hill Education that lets students vary the amount of dark matter in a galaxy and see how it effects the orbital speed of stars.  

LINK: Dark Matter Video Game


Dark Matter Visualizations

Illustris Collaboration Data Visualizations 

► KIPAC Data Data Visualizations

► Max-Planck-Institute Data Visualizations



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