Inspiring budding researchers
IGnite: Research Stories to Inspire Generations will feature talks on neutrinos, fundamental building blocks of the universe, and molecular interactions
Featuring topics from environmental solutions to gender policy, the IGnite lecture series has showcased the diversity of research happening at Queen’s to a captivated audience of campus and community members. On Thursday, Jan. 30 another lecture will take place on the topics of the underground search for neutrinos and the importance of molecular left- or right-handedness.
IGnite is a collaboration between the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and the University Relations portfolio. Each event features two researchers from different fields discussing their projects and research experiences, while also including interactive demonstrations and poster presentations from students and additional researchers. The series offers a public platform where researchers can share what first ignited their curiosity and motivates them to pursue their research.
Mark Chen (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) holds the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics and is a Fellow at CIFAR. At the SNOLAB, he leads the SNO+ project, repurposing for a new mission the research infrastructure once vital to Queen’s emeritus professor Art McDonald’s Nobel Prize-winning work. Dr. Chen will present on how SNO+ is exploring the nature of neutrino mass and oscillations while also searching for neutrinos generated on Earth called geoneutrinos. His research will help solve physics mysteries such as why the Earth has a “neutrino glow”.
For Dr. Chen, curiosity is an important part of the research process.
“Asking simple questions, asking big questions – that’s what research is about,” he says. “I’m always delighted to talk about where curiosity has led us in our understanding of the world around us, and what questions we are still seeking answers to.”
Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) will present on the topic of molecular left- or right-handedness. Her research investigates how organic compounds interact with metals to develop new catalysts important to pharmaceutical and biosensor innovations. In understanding how carbon-to-metal bonds can be significantly more stable than metal-to-organic linkages, her research group focuses on films 100,000 times thinner than human hair and nanoscopically ordered particles. Understanding which "hand" a molecule uses can make all of the difference in whether they work as intended when interacting with certain materials.
The event will take place Thursday, Jan 30, 6:30-9 pm at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library Central Branch (130 Johnson St.).
Registration is free on Eventbrite and light refreshments will be served.
For more information on the series, visit the McDonald Institute’s website.
Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.