Alan Robinson

Université de Montréal

Assistant Professor - Physics

Following his PhD at the University of Chicago, Alan started a postdoc at Fermilab working on the Super-CDMS dark matter experiment that will be installed at SNOLAB. His work looks at how particle interactions work; gaining a better understanding of this allows more sensitive detectors to be built.

He is currently part of both the PICO and Super-CDMS collaborations. With PICO, he is one of the leaders of the Montréal group planning and constructing future-generation detectors. With Super-CDMS, he is working to update the nuclear and particle physics techniques that are used to understand the detectors while considering the condensed matter physics that come into effect.

Alan is excited to be joining the McDonald Institute, as its work centres around recognizing the important things we still have to discover about the universe. He had already committed to studying novel detector technologies, and now has the opportunity to work as part of a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary organization.

Contact Information
Room V-216, Roger Gaudry
Université de Montréal
Montreal, QC, H3T1J4
Phone: 514-343-6474


Q&A with Prof. Robinson

What is something you are especially proud of?

“A couple of years ago, I discovered that the most common type of radiation, gamma radiation, could collide in a way that would mimic dark matter in new ultra-sensitive detectors. The existence of these types of collisions had been well studied, but no one had considered its effects on detectors because we hadn’t yet had a detector sensitive enough to see it! I am proud of discovering new phenomena, and especially phenomena that we already know but haven’t yet considered in a particular context.”

Why did you choose physics?

“Experimental physics is the work of building something nobody has ever built before and seeing what it does. This work expands our understanding of nature and technology and is never boring.”

Something that might surprise your students?

“I’m an effective 2-meter stick. The DEAP-3600 water tank measures approximately two Alans in radius!”