As of September 2020, I will be entering into my 4th year of undergraduate studies at Queen’s University with a major in geology and a minor in physics. I’ve had an interest in space and astronomy (and science in general) since I was young, but never considered geology until after taking it as a first-year elective at Queen’s. This new field of earth sciences excited me (in particular being able to apply it beyond Earth), and I decided to pursue geology in conjunction with my interest in physics. Remaining in physics at Queen’s has given me exposure to many exciting developments going on in the physics community. The particular excitement here around dark matter research caught my interest, and I’ve been able to learn more about its progress by reading articles and attending events like Dark Matter Day. I was introduced to the McDonald Institute’s cross-disciplinary internship in 3rd year and it seemed like the perfect way to get involved in physics research and contribute to ongoing particle astrophysics studies. I am very grateful to have been able to spend this past summer working with Dr. Viel and other scientists at Carleton & SNOLAB on their analyses!
Project: Muon flux characterization in the DEAP-3600 water Cherenkov muon veto
I use data collected from a very sensitive detector 2 km underground to look at particles that were created at the top of the atmosphere. This is a background particle in the dark matter search, and a better understanding of these particles is useful not only for the search but also to provide insights into atmospheric and galactic physics.
“Physics is an excellent tool to model and understand what is happening around us, and I ultimately have a curiosity in our physical world and how it works! In this sense, it also relates to geology through the search for understanding why our world is the way that it is.”
Emily’s CDI Experience
"This experience has allowed me to gain exposure to what it's like working in a physics research group and the amount of collaboration that takes place."
My main research interests lie in the realm of meteoritics and planetary science. I would love to learn more about the formation and evolution of different bodies in our solar system. At the moment, I am particularly excited by Mars and the Moon! On a larger scale across both time and space, I am interested in the composition, formation and functioning of the universe, and have been particularly captivated by the search for dark matter. I use data collected from a very sensitive detector 2 km underground to look at particles that were created at the top of the atmosphere. This is a background particle in the dark matter search, and a better understanding of these particles is useful not only for the search but also to provide insights into atmospheric and galactic physics.
My favourite experience from this internship was participating in the DEAP collaboration meeting. I was able to listen to updates and discussions on the research of all the groups involved in this experiment, from hardware to analysis. I was also given the opportunity to present my own work at this meeting!
I didn’t realize the degree of collaboration that takes place [in physics]. I have seen how physics can connect people from around the globe and how one subset of research can depend on the contributions and support from many others.