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Marie-Cécile Piro – 2024 Dorothy Killam Fellow

Solving one of the greatest mysteries of our Universe: Dark Matter

University of Alberta

Marie-Cécile Piro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University.

Piro’s work examines one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our universe: dark matter. Dark matter is pivotal to explaining the evolution of our universe, the emergence of stars, planets and even life. Astronomical and cosmological observations imply the presence of a new form of matter—different from ordinary matter like atoms and molecules—which is five times more abundant and named “dark matter”. However, detecting dark matter particles has proved extremely challenging.

Piro’s transformational research aims at achieving the milestone of realizing, for the first time, directional sensitivity in dark matter detectors by developing new cutting-edge technologies and creating cross-disciplinary connections. With extensive experience in dark matter detection and as a Principal Investigator (PI) for several major international collaborations in the field, Piro is well-positioned to lead this critical step toward claiming the discovery of dark matter and solidifying Canada’s position as a world leader in particle astrophysics.


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