Dr. Szymon Manecki

Research Scientist

Szymon attained his PhD at Virginia Tech focusing on solar neutrino physics with the Borexino detector. He then completed a postdoc in low-energy neutrino physics at Queen’s University, working on the SNO+ experiment with a focus on the search for neutrinoless double beta decay.

As a member of SNO+, he is responsible for the development and deployment of tellurium in the detector, and the commissioning of the underground tellurium plants. Much of his time is spent underground supervising the tellurium plant and ensuring that experimental components are not contaminated to allow the detector to have maximum sensitivity. A large part of this involves careful screening and testing of potential materials, which sometimes requires the development of new purification techniques. When he is not underground, Szymon works on developing future projects and new ideas.

How would you describe your work in simple terms?

“I like to explain it in terms of the Looney Tunes. Imaginethat I’m Wile. E. Coyote, and neutrinos are Road Runners which carry fundamental answers to questions about the origin of our universe and the laws of nature. We really want to catch them, but it’s not at all easy. When we’re lucky, our experiments go “Beep beep!”, indicating that we have successfully detected a neutrino.”

Why did you choose physics?

“I have always enjoyed the fact that physics almost by definition requires creative thinking and simplification. I truly love that an answer can be given with error and a confidence level – how convenient! I believe that physics will one day answer all the questions about the world we live in.”

What is something about you that might surprise people?

“I grew up as a competitive ballroom dancer, and in my spare time I fix things – anything from a Yamaha engine to a toilet flapper.”



Contact details
(705) 692-7000 ext. 2851