SNOLAB Partners with AstroCeNT

September 09, 2019 — Astrophysics News

This past Monday, September 2, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada was at the AstroCeNT Particle Astrophysics Science and Technology Center in Warsaw, Poland, to attend an event formalizing a partnership between AstroCeNT and SNOLAB.

AstroCeNT is an International Research Agenda based at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The goal of AstroCeNT is to ‘explore the hidden Universe’, and their research program focuses primarily on dark matter and gravitational waves. The Center aims to contribute both to research and the development of new technologies demanded by future physics experiments. They also focus on training a new generation of researchers to engage in international, interdisciplinary research.

The director of AstroCeNT, and also the leader of the Center’s Particle Astrophysics research group, Prof. Leszek Roszkowski knew SNOLAB’s Executive Director Dr. Nigel Smith while he was at Boulby Lab in England, so there was an existing SNOLAB connection before the partnership was finalized this week. More recently, Dr. Marcin Kuzniak, a Research Scientist at Carleton University and a member of the DEAP collaboration joined AstroCeNT as a new faculty member and the head of the AstroCeNT research group focusing on SiPM (silicon photomultiplier) Systems for Astroparticle Physics and Medical Physics. 

Dr. Mark Boulay of Carleton (director of the DEAP-3600 experiment hosted at SNOLAB) was representing the Canadian science community. At the event Dr. Boulay presented signed copies of MOUs with SNOLAB and with the McDonald Institute for counter-signing by Prof. Roszkowski. He also announced that, following the Scientific Board approval of Dr. Kuzniak’s letter of intent on behalf of the new center, AstroCeNT has now officially joined the DEAP collaboration.  Dr. Kuzniak and Dr. Masauki Wada, the newly appointed leader ofUltrapure SiPMs and Associated Readout Electronics group, and their teams at AstroCeNT will contribute to the DEAP-3600 experiment.

The MOU signed by Smith and Roszkowski affirms SNOLAB and AstroCeNT’s commitment to furthering our understanding of the Universe to the benefit of humanity. The agreement also helps facilitate the sharing of opportunities and movement of highly qualified personnel within the global physics research community. The new partnership received very warm welcome from the Governor General. In partnering with AstroCeNT, SNOLAB looks forward to future collaboration and is proud to be strengthening the relationship between the Canadian and Polish particle astrophysics communities.

For further information, see AstroCeNT’s story about the event.