ARPICO is proud to host Dr. Silvia Scorza, who will be presenting on the topic of underground science at SNOLAB, where research is conducted in fields of fundamental science that require shielding from external radiation such as cosmic rays. This presentation will give a unique and interesting perspective into the research that is conducted mostly out of the public view and discussion, but contributes critically to our scientific advances. Applications found in medicine, national security, industry, computing, science, and workforce development, illustrate a long and growing list of beneficial practical applications with contributions from particle physics.
Based at a depth of 2 km in the Vale Creighton mine near Sudbury, Ontario, SNOLAB is an underground scientific environment that provides the conditions necessary for experiments dealing with rare interactions that have to be shielded from external radiation. The lab hosts an international community involved in a number of fundamental physics (neutrino and dark matter) as well as new biology and genomic experiments making use of the unique facility. In this lecture, Dr. Scorza will offer an overview on the life of an "underground scientist" and the immense possibilities of discovery that facilities like SNOLAB make available to our society.
Dr. Silvia Scorza was born and raised in Genoa, Italy. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Genoa in 2003 and 2006, respectively. She then moved to the University Claude Bernard Lyon1 (UCBL1), France, where she obtained her Ph.D. in 2009. She has then held postdoctoral positions in France at the Institut de Physique Nucléaire de Lyon, in the U.S. at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas (TX) and later in Germany at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Silvia is currently a research scientist at SNOLAB and adjunct professor at Laurentian University working on the SuperCDMS SNOLAB direct dark matter search experiment and the cryogenic test facility CUTE.
ARPICO AGM 2019
The event will be preceded by the 2019 ARPICO AGM at 6:00PM if you wish to attend. The actual talk will commence at 7:00PM (doors open at 6:45PM for registration).
Please register via EventBrite at http://whispersinthedark.eventbrite.ca/ or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 12, 2019 at 6:45pm
Italian Cultural Centre - Museum & Art Gallery - (3075 Slocan St, Vancouver, BC V5M 3E4)
On Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, ARPICO held its Annual General Meeting at the Museum of the Italian Cultural Centre. While we all wish it had been better attended by our members, it was still a good occasion to sum up our past year of activity, which has seen a good level of activity with speaking events of a somewhat broader spectrum as well as enticing collaborations with the Dante Alighieri Society of BC, the Consulate of Italy and the Embassy of Italy as well. I cannot underscore enough the excellent team work on the part of the ARPICO board of directors, and several members-volunteers, that made each and every event a successful one. One of the novelty of this past ARPICO season is that we have been able to hold most of our events at the Museum of the Italian Cultural Centre, whose curator, Angela Clarke, has shown nothing but the greatest enthusiasm in having us in that space, and helping us with event promotion, space set-up and tear-down. We do hope to be able to continue holding our events there in the future.
As it is customary, the meeting was followed by one of our speaking events, for which this time we took advantage of the presence in Vancouver of Italian physicist, Dr. Silvia Scorza, spending a few days in Vancouver to attend a conference. Dr. Scorza is a close colleague of ARPICO board member Pietro Giampa and is involved, broadly speaking, in similar scientific quests, among them the attempt to detect a set of rather elusive particles that apparently bombard us, and everything else in the universe, constantly from outer space, to the tune of roughly 20 million of these particles across the area of our hand per second! Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, who worked in the first half of the past century, aptly named these then only hypothetical particles 'neutrinos', because they were supposed to be very much smaller than other known fundamental particles at the time and electrically neutral. However small and neutral, these particles are not only real, but also appear to constitute a large part of our universe in the form of so-called dark matter, which makes up a large fraction of the universe's mass, but is not in any way visible, like planets, stars and galaxies are. Dr. Scorza is involved in and directs a number of projects taking place in the underground facilities of SNOLAB, a set of science laboratories placed 2 km deep in our planet's crust alongside an active mine in Sudbury, Ontario. Her lecture took us on a data- and image-based tour of the set of unique experiments that are currently taking place or being built in this remarkable infrastructure, a place whose initial purpose was "only" one neutrino detector, but then evolved into a set of experiments to elucidate dark matter as well as study effects of low radiation in our ecosystem's biology from whole-organism to the DNA scales. It was fascinating to realize once again the level of accomplishment that the human mind is capable of when tasked with finding what would appear at first to be impossible goals. Search for cosmic neutrinos at SNOLAB is still, well, a search, since none have been detected yet, but the work is still within the time target they set for themselves and, importantly, within the carefully estimated likelihood of detecting them. Meanwhile, having created such a special research environment as SNOLAB has allowed other disciplines to shed novel insight on phenomena of our own biology, which were virtually impossible on our planet's surface. Aside from technicalities that may have been harder to grasp for some of us, I hope everyone realized the privilege of being taken on a very special tour at the thin edge of the research wedge under Dr. Scorza's specialized guidance. Thank you all for coming.