Dr. Erica Caden

Research Scientist

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Erica completed her PhD at Drexel University working on the Double Chooz neutrino experiment. She worked on the electronics used to amplify signals detected by the photomultiplier tubes, and also on determining the direction of the neutrino source by studying the reaction dynamics within the detector. Following this, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Laurentian University working on the calibration source shielding and much of the hardware development for SNO+. 

In her role now, Erica works on both the SNO+ and HALO projects. She is a detector operator for HALO and also runs SNEWS (supernova early warning system) shifts. For SNO+, she is the detector manager responsible for keeping things running day to day. So far she has seen the detector through the initial data taking, the water phase, and now the beginning of the scintillator fill. She spends a lot of her time writing code for SNO+ to analyze the data produced.

How would you describe your work in simple terms?

“I study neutrinos, the smallest particles we can detect, which behave differently than every other particle we know of. Understanding neutrinos can help us understand the world around us. They are weird, and bend or break a lot of previously held physics rules, which makes them fascinating. Our neutrino experiments consist of giant detectors, often in remote locations, which take hundreds of people to run, and last for a decade or more.”

Why did you choose physics?

“I love understanding things in a deep way, especially the world around us.”

What is something about your work that might surprise people?

“Being a physicist isn’t just about being smart, but about being curious, and not giving up when the problem in front of you looks insurmountable. Science is truly a creative endeavour. Research is about trying to answer questions that no one has answered before. Part of that is coming up with the tools, and developing better questions as we go along.” 

Publications

Links

Contact Details

Erica.Caden _at_ snolab.ca

(705) 692-7000 X 2253

 

SNOLAB

1039 Regional Road 24

Creighton Mine #9

Lively ON, P3Y 1N2