Lab Canada

International dark matter experiment coming to SNOLAB

Sudbury, ON – The SuperCDMS experiment is coming to the SNOLAB underground science facility. The Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search is an international, multimillion-dollar dark matter experiment currently based in Minnesota with plans to progress the project by building a more sensitive detector at SNOLAB. The experiment has been selected by U.S. funding agencies as one of its major second-generation dark matter projects, receiving support for construction and operation at SNOLAB. 

Using state-of-art cryogenic germanium detectors, the SuperCDMS collaboration is searching for dark matter particles, also known as weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). The discovery of these particles could resolve the dark matter problem, revolutionizing particle physics and cosmology. The use of the underground facility at SNOLAB will provide shielding from cosmogenic events and as a result, reduce interference of known background particles. To search for dark matter, SuperCDMS scientists cool their detectors to very low temperatures in order to detect the very small energies deposited by the collisions of dark matter particles with the germanium.

“SNOLAB is really excited to hear the news that SuperCDMS-SNOLAB has been selected as one of the U.S. second-generation direct dark matter search projects, and will be heading to SNOLAB for its next phase of operations,” said Dr. Nigel Smith, SNOLAB director. “As a leading experiment in the field of dark matter searches, the combination of improved detector technologies and the facilities at SNOLAB will allow SuperCDMS to improve its sensitivity to WIMP dark matter interactions even further, and hopefully detect these elusive particles.


“Researchers from around the world will be converging on Sudbury to build and operate this major project, including Canadian SuperCDMS collaborators at Queen’s University and University of British Columbia,” he added. “We all look forward to welcoming the SuperCDMS collaboration to our facility, and helping them deliver new physics results from this exciting experiment.”


SNOLAB is operated by the SNOLAB Institute whose member institutions are Carleton University, Laurentian University, Queen’s University, University of Alberta and Université de Montréal. It is located two kilometres below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury, ON. Operational funding for SNOLAB is provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Province of Ontario.


More information on the SuperCDMS-SNOLAB collaboration is available here.