CAPSS 2022
Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School
May 8-13, 2022


The Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) is an intensive week-long undergraduate school that will introduce students to the current topics in the field of astroparticle physics at Queen’s University and virtually at SNOLAB.

To the best of our abilities, we will hold CAPSS 2022 in-person, following applicable public health requirements. If regulations are relaxed or additional public health guidance is issued, the university’s event planning guidelines may be adjusted. For now, all visitors to campus will be required to have received a full dose regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days before the start of an in-person CAPSS 2022. It is also possible that CAPSS 2022 will have to pivot to a virtual program, in whole or in part, in the event of new public health guidance or requirements.


To find out how to apply, click here.


Activities will include:

  • Lectures and hands-on activities in particle physics, detector development, neutrino physics, dark matter astrophysics theory and cosmology, and more! This will likely involve sending equipment to all accepted students.
  • An enriched Masterclass on the Nobel Prize winning SNO experiment
  • A virtual tour of the world-famous SNOLAB underground facility
  • Several social and networking events

Topics Covered:

  • Astrophysical evidence for dark Matter: rotation curves of galaxies and the “missing mass” problem
  • Dark matter astrophysics theory and cosmology: Big Bang nucleosynthesis, the Cosmic Microwave Background, formation of structure
  • Models and signals of dark matter: observed correlations in the CMB, the dark matter complementarity diagram, dark matter candidates
  • Direction detection of dark mark matter: basics (nuclear recoild, backgrounds, etc.), applications (noble liquid/gas detectors, solid state detectors, oddball detectors), current status of research in field
  • Neutrino oscillations and the SNO experiment, neutrino mass theory and experiment, and neutrinoless double-beta decay


A detailed schedule for CAPSS 2022 will be available closer to the school.



Instructors will be confirmed for 2021 soon. Past instructors involved with CAPSS include:

Prof. Joseph Bramante (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Erica Caden (SNOLAB/Laurentian)
Prof. Ken Clark (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Guillaume Giroux (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Ian Lawson (SNOLAB/Laurentian)
Prof. Ryan Martin (Queen’s)
Prof. Tony Noble (Queen’s/MI)
Dr. Tom Sonley (SNOLAB)
Prof. Kristine Spekkens (Royal Military College)
Prof. Aaron Vincent (Queen’s/MI)
Prof. Lawrence Widrow (Queen’s)


Target Audience

This school is targeted towards strong 2nd year and 3rd year undergraduate students. We also welcome students in their 4th or more senior years of undergrad who will preferably not have graduated by the time they attend CAPSS 2022. Both Canadian and international students are welcomed to apply.

Registration Fee & Funding

There is no registration fee, but successful applicants will need to pay a small pre-registration deposit of $100, reimbursable upon completion of the school. This is in no way intended as a barrier, but to ensure that accommodations and food are reserved for admitted students, and that we do not want to leave a spot open that could have been granted to a student we turn away due to capacity issues. If upon admission into the program a student is unable to provide the deposit, for what every reason, we will discuss how to best accommodate them.

Note, all students must be able to get themselves to Queen’s University by May 8th, 2022, and then back home on May 14th, 2022. We are unable to provide any travel support. Accommodations and most food will be provided by the McDonald Institute at no charge. The virtual SNOLAB tour will be facilitated through Queen’s university, so we will not be traveling to Sudbury.


More Information

More questions? Check out our online FAQ to see if it has been answered already. If you’d like to contact us directly, you can do so at summerschool@mcdonaldinstitute.ca


Students at the CAPSS 2018 Closing Reception at Science North


CAPSS 2018 7