Author: newsgwebsite

Queen’s university team in France


Members of the NEWS-G team after a visit to Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane (LSM), in France. From left to right: Koby Dering, Carolyne Neron, Philippe Gros, Michel Zampaolo & Michel Gros

The NEWS-G team was at LSM to inspect the copper hemispheres that will form the centre of the NEWS-G project at SNOLAB, and to plan for the first testing of the experiment at LSM early next year (before packing everything up and shipping to Canada). Earlier in the week, the team members visited Fonderie de Gentilly, just outside Paris, to inspect ongoing work. Fonderie de Gentilly is fabricating the 28000 kg spherical lead shield for the SNOLAB project, which will protect the detector from gamma radiation

5th NEWS-G collaboration meeting in Kingston, ON, Canada – November 29-30, 2018

One and a half years after the last gathering in Kingston, Queen’s University was chosen again to host the 5th edition of the NEWS-G collaboration meeting.

More than 30 collaborators from all over the world (Canada, USA, France, Greece, UK) traveled to Kingston, where the group led by Prof. Gilles Gerbier is based.

The collaboration has seen many changes in 2018, and this event gave new members the opportunity to meet the other teams and to visit the NEWS-G facilities at Queen’s university.

During the 2-day meeting, participants presented on a wide variety of topics and participated in discussions on many aspects of the project, especially the upcoming experiment at SNOLAB.

The meeting concluded with a dinner on the shores of the Cataraqui River, and everyone is looking forward to meeting again in 2019!

Outreach events with NEWS-G

NEWS-G has been recently involved in two outreach events hosted by Queen’s University (Kingston, ON, Canada): Dark Matter Day 2018, and IGnite.



On November 10th the McDonald Institute and Queen’s University co-organized the very successful second annual Dark Matter Day. People were invited to hear talks on the first astronomical hints of Dark Matter’s existence, what it might be made of, and how we are trying to find it. This was followed by tours of the Queen’s University Observatory and the McDonald Institute Visitor Centre, exhibits, fun games and activities.


news-g-ignite-logo-2On November 15th, the McDonald Institute – in collaboration with Queen’s University – launched IGnite (Inspiring Generations through research), a new events series which goal is to showcase the breadth of research happening across the university to all audiences (with a special focus on getting young people interested in science and research). This first open and accessible event (one of a three-part series for the 2018-2019 academic year) featured two celebrated Queen’s researchers:  Dr. Ken Clark and Dr. Jacalyn Duffin. In addition to the exciting talks, students and faculty were presenting experiment demonstrations, research posters, and photographs, providing lots of chances to meet and ask questions with the people behind the research.

The Queen’s NEWS-G team actively participated in these two highly successful events by demonstrating our glass sphere detector  and a laser display.

The glass sphere is a stand-alone Dark Matter detector which allows everyone to see what is inside of the vessel. It functions in the same way as our other spherical detectors: the sphere is filled with gas, and when particles pass through the gas, they can bump into gas atoms and free some electrons, which are pulled towards the sensor at the center of the sphere by the electric field created by the high voltage sensor. These drifting electrons induce electrical pulses upon reaching the sensor.

>>> Learn more about the glass sphere detector.


The laser display is a system developed by NEWS-G at Queen’s University to show what is happening inside the detector. The particle interactions we observe are not able to be seen by the naked eye because of the very small energies involved. To demonstrate the invisible physics occurring in our detectors, this system depicts particle interactions in the sphere with a laser show on a wall or poster. The laser illustrates particles colliding with a gas atom, creating small dots which represent the electrons that will drift toward the sensor at the center of the sphere. Upon reaching the sensor, these electrons will give rise to an electric pulse that will also be drawn by the laser as the electrons go down the rod.

>>> Learn more about the laser display


Congratulations Dan!


Gilles Gerbier & Daniel Durnford

After two years in Kingston under the supervision of Gilles Gerbier at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON, Canada), NEWS-G member Daniel Durnford graduated from his Master’s program yesterday (November 13th ) at fall convocation … congratulations Dan!

Dan will soon be starting his PhD at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB, Canada) in January, under the supervision of Marie-Cécile Piro, another NEWS-G member. His work will focus on analysis and simulations for the next phase of the experiment at SNOLAB.


Newest members @ NEWS-G (II)


“I recently joined the NEWS-G collaboration to work on the purification of the various gases and on data analysis for this dark matter search. In my career, I have had the opportunity to work with several high-profile teams, using various detection techniques, such as: bubble chambers at SNOLAB in Canada, high purity germanium crystals at very low temperatures (mK) at LSM in France, and a dual-phase xenon time projection chamber (TPC) at LNGS in Italy. This has given me broad physical and technical expertise in low background particle physics experiments. I am intrigued by exploring physics beyond the standard model. I hope to achieve this by developing new detection technologies, and pushing the limits of current technologies by improving detector performance, such as energy resolution and find novel techniques for reducing the background of the detectors. My goal is to find a way to by-pass the irreducible neutrino floor background, which all dark matter experiment will face in the near future. ”    –.Marie-Cécile Piro, Assistant Professor


news-g-stefanie-langrock“I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at SNOLAB working under the supervision of Pierre Gorel. My work for NEWS-G will be focusing on the design of a Ar-37 calibration source to meet the requirements for radioactive sources at SNOLAB. Additionally to the source development, I will work on understanding the background contributions present at the SNOLAB underground facility with the aid of GEANT4 simulations.” – Stefanie Langrock, Post-Doctoral Fellow


news-g-alex-rolland“I am currently a student at École Centrale Paris, doing a one year internship as a visiting research student for NEWS-G, under the supervision of Gilles Gerbier at Queen’s University. My main role will be to help with the R&D work and experiments at the Queen’s lab. I will also participate in data analysis preparation before the installation at SNOLAB and outreach projects related to dark matter research. ” – Alex Rolland, Visiting Research Student