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HomeTechnology & ScienceSudbury's SNOLAB gets $100M from Ottawa to uncover mysteries of the universe

Sudbury’s SNOLAB gets $100M from Ottawa to uncover mysteries of the universe


Sudbury’s underground SNOLAB laboratory has received more than $100 million from the federal government to continue research on astroparticle physics. 

“This is a moment to celebrate for everyone in Sudbury,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne during a news conference Friday in the northern Ontario laboratory, which is two kilometres below the Earth’s surface.

“They’ll be able to continue their work of detecting the whisper of signals to radioactive noise.”

The funding is part of a $628-million investment from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiative Fund, which will support 19 research infrastructure projects at 14 institutions across the country.

Clarence Virtue, SNOLAB’s former interim executive director, said the $100 million will extend SNOLAB’s research initiatives into 2029.

Jodi Cooley, SNOLAB’s current executive director, said investment will support new equipment and help the laboratory attract “world-class talent” to continue uncovering the secrets of the universe.

“Next-generation astroparticle physics experiments rely on cutting-edge technology to push the limits of sensitivity,” Cooley said.

“SNOLAB is leading the way in developing technology for cryogenics and noble gas systems, both of which will be required by the experiments of the future as we push to unlock the mysteries of the universe.”

The underground SNOLAB laboratory in Greater Sudbury has a number of research experiments related to astroparticle physics and health care. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

In 2015, Canadian researcher Arthur McDonald was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his experiments on subatomic particles called neutrinos at SNOLAB.

McDonald and his team, along with researchers in Japan, discovered neutrinos have mass and change “flavour” as they travel from the sun to the Earth. 

The discovery led scientists to re-examine the role neutrinos played in the universe’s evolution.


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