Sudbury SNOLAB working on riddles of the universe, planning for the future

Researchers from around the world have gravitated to Sudbury today with some big ideas for the future of the SNOLAB.

Research on black matter, neutrinos, 'at the edge of contemporary physics' says facility director

SNOLAB is a physics lab located two kilometres underground near Sudbury, Ont. ((SNOlab))

Researchers from around the world have gravitated to Sudbury today with some big ideas for the future of the SNOLAB.

The research facility —  located some 2 kilometres below Creighton Mine — allows scientists to study the questions of the universe without interference from the sun's radiation.

Right now, there are three large-scale projects that are about to begin in the lab. But today and tomorrow, researchers will propose other projects that could be launched at the facility in the coming decade.
Nigel Smith is the director of the SNOLAB in Sudbury, an underground facility that studies dark matter and neutrinos. (Steve Howard/CBC)

Director Nigel Smith said for researchers, a piece of real estate in the SNOLAB is very desirable. 

"We have one very large space left called the 'Cryo-Pit', and this is currently the deepest clean-area in the world, and so there's a lot of competition for the experiment[s] to go into there." 

Smith said the "Future Planning" conference today and tomorrow includes about 60 researchers from around the world, and 12 projects are slated to be pitched for discussion and long-term consideration.

He said the research, mostly on neutrinos and dark matter, is very complex. That means planning can take years and cost many millions of dollars. 

"If you're investing that sort of money into research you want to make sure that you are going to succeed," said Smith. 

Listen here to the complete interview with SNOLAB director Nigel Smith on Morning North. 

Learn more about SNOLAB.


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