Written by Anna K. Buk
Alex Demelo is in Carleton's Honours Physics program in the Theoretical stream, and also the President of the Physics Society (@cuphyssoc). He was initially drawn to this program because of his curiosity about, "the big questions of the beginning of the universe, time and its physical meaning, and the abstraction of higher dimensional worlds and other mysterious aspects of the universe".
He was introduced to the research project after applying for the DSRI award in his first year and speaking to Carleton Physics Department professors: Dr. Kevin Graham, Dr. Jesse Heilman, and Dr. Alain Bellerive, who then invited him to partake. Alex was involved in research with the Carleton ATLAS group, which measures different properties of subatomic particle detectors - or STGC for short - of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, which takes measurements on the muons being produced by the proton beam collisions.
He describes his part as being focused on testing working conditions - "which consisted of determining what real muon signals looked like, measuring the electronic noise present in the detectors, identifying how to trigger real muons to save those signals and investigating many other smaller properties of the STGC".
While in the role, Alex not only learned the fundamentals of research, but also ensured his work will carry a lasting impact and by laying the foundations of STGC characterization, providing large collections of preliminary data sets, devising efficient methods to extract needed information, and identifying next steps for those who will come after him.