Assistant Professor - Physics
Following a PhD at the University of British Columbia and TRIUMF, Simon worked as a Chamberlain Fellow and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. His work there focused on designing and testing components for a future upgrade of the ATLAS detector at CERN.
Simon is motivated by questions about what the smallest particles in the universe are, and how they interact with each other. His work currently has two main areas of focus. First, he is developing software for several components of DEAP-3600 that will also have applications for next-generation dark matter experiments using liquid argon. Second, he is looking into the possibility of using silicon photodetectors as sensors for future large-scale experiments using liquid noble gases as their detector media.
Joining the McDonald Institute gave him the perfect opportunity to continue doing research in experimental particle physics and he is now actively recruiting graduate students to join his research group at Carleton.
3370 Herzberg Laboratories
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6
Q&A with Prof. Viel
What is something in your career that stands out as a highlight?
I really enjoyed working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider during my PhD and postdoc years. Teamwork in large collaborations is extremely rewarding, as it allows the international physics community to undertake projects of a scale impossible to achieve otherwise. I look forward to participating in the development of international collaborations for future experiments at SNOLAB.
Why did you choose physics?
I fell in love with physics in CEGEP when I took an optional course on the topic of ‘contemporary physics’. It opened my mind to fascinating concepts in quantum mechanics and particle physics, and after learning about fundamental unsolved problems in physics, I knew that I wanted to participate in finding answers.
What do you do when you aren’t in the lab?
Hiking and cycling are my two favourite outdoor activities.