Danika Watson – How to Probe the Nature of the Universe

A Knowledge Translation Project Produced as part of a McDonald Institute Cross-Disciplinary Internship at TRIUMF

by Danika Watson


Watson, a graduate student in Physical Geography at Queen’s University, spent the Summer of 2023 completing a Cross-Disciplinary Internship with Dr. Fabrice Retiere at TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre. The project involved the characterization of photon detection devices called silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs), aimed towards developing the nEXO experiment. The zine, How to Probe the Nature of the Universe, is Watson’s Knowledge Translation project for the Internship.


The Cross Disciplinary Internship Program

Each year, the McDonald Institute opens a call for submissions to a unique program, the Cross-Disciplinary Internship. The program provides a salary reimbursement for full- or part-time students registered in non-physics majors to participate in astroparticle physics research. Student applicants can be enrolled in any post-secondary level; college diploma, undergraduate, or graduate studies. This program links students with leading astroparticle physics researchers in Canada for opportunities to expand research collaborations, knowledge, and research-based skills. In 2023, we broadened the definition of “supervisor” to include opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to apply as supervisors to host a cross-disciplinary intern.



Thank you to Kurtis Raymond, Duncan McCarthy and Dr. Fabrice Retiere for making this project possible.
Inspiration to ‘think in comics’ was drawn from the work and lectures of Nick Sousanis.
This research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund through the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute.



Danika Watson's zine has a comic book inspired format, with black and white illustrations interspersed with text boxes