Dark Matter Day at SNOLAB

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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, 2018 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 search for the 5 galaxy pumpkins and learn about the dark matter detectors at SNOLAB. There is a pumpkin for each of the dark matter experiments underway in the lab! 

WHEN: October 5h-28th, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 11:00pm 

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


SNOLAB Photowalk Exhibit  

Every two years, the world’s largest particle physics labs open their doors to the public to host the Global Physics Photowalk. This summer, seventeen amateur and professional photographers took a journey deep underground to SNOLAB to explore the laboratory and document the science and infrastructure through their own lens. A selection of photographs from the SNOLAB Photowalk will be on display at the McEwen School of Architecture in the Atrium. An opening reception will take place on Tuesday October 9th from 6:30 - 8:30pm and the photographs will be on display until October 26th. 

WHEN: Tuesday October 9th-26th, Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 4:00pm 

WHERE: McEwen School of Architecture 85 Elm Street, Sudbury, Ontario P3C 1T3 

LINK: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/snolab-photowalk-exhibit-opening-reception-tickets-50906497705?aff=efbevent

COST: Free 


High School Teachers Workshop with Perimeter Institute 

This workshop will introduce teachers to several resources developed by Perimeter Institute to bring cutting-edge topics into the high school science classroom. The resources feature interactive activities that will engage students and connect standard curriculum to current topics at the forefront of research. 

WHEN: October 12-13th

WHERE: This event takes place at SNOLAB and is by application and invitation only.

COST: Free for accepted applicants


Explore the Universe Paint Social  

Explore the universe by tapping into your creative side at this fun and accessible paint social! Join artist Brian Nori to be guided through the creative process and the creation of a painting inspired by the wonders of the cosmos. 

WHEN: October 25th, time TBA 

WHERE: Red Fang Tavern, 78 Durham Street in Sudbury ON

COST: Ticket information TBA


Dark Matter Day Activities 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 27th 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 


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:  Tuesday October 30th from 1:00pm - 1:30pm

WHERE: Online, link TBA

LINK: Coming soon! 

COST: Free 


Dark Matter Laugh and Learn

Join science comedian Brian Malow, Earth’s Premier Science Comedian, for an entertaining and igniting evening dedicated to the wonders of the universe and the search for all its missing matter. 

WHEN:  Thursday November 1st, time TBA

WHERE: Vale Cavern at Science North, 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury ON

LINK: Coming soon! 

COST: Ticket information TBA



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

► How to build a dark matter detector:  More than 2 kilometers below the surface of northern Ontario, suspended in 345,000 liters of ultra-pure water, there’s a perfect sphere. Scientists continuously monitor this chamber, looking for a glimmer of light in the darkness. Why? Because that light would indicate the presence of one of the universe’s greatest mysteries: dark matter. Jenna Saffin describes how this dark matter detector works.

LINK:  How to build a dark matter detector - Jenna Saffin


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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