For young people who get a thrill out of science, being able to share that passion with other like-minded young people is rare. But that’s exactly what the International Summer School for Young Physicists at the Perimeter Institute (PI) for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, offers. Last summer, Vanier Pure and Applied Science student, David Berardo, competed against six hundred students from all over the world, to be one of 40 students chosen to live an unforgettable experience during two weeks at the institute.

A novel idea from RIM
Established in 1999 by Mike Lazaridis, the founder of Research In Motion (RIM) – maker of the Blackberry, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is a basic research centre dedicated to exploring the world at its most fundamental level.

Making physics and quantum mechanics real
“It was an amazing experience,” states David Berardo. “It made physics more real for me and opened up the possibilities of physics. It also showed me what it means to be a physicist.” While at PI, David participated in research projects led by international theoretical physicists, attended presentations on hot topics such as superstring theory, quantum computing and dark matter, took physics courses to deepen insight into Einstein’s ideas and quantum theory and made friends with the brightest young physics minds from around the world.

Two thousand meters under the Earth
“We even visited SNOLAB – the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Lab,” exclaims David. “We went down two kilometers under the earth through a working mine to reach the lab, then through a super clean room. It was impressive: all the rooms are white and are filled with cutting edge sophisticated equipment. Later, in class, we analyzed some of the data that is collected in the lab.”

Discovering potential as a researcher
Helping young people The ultimate aim of the summer school is to make young people aware of their own potential as future researchers in theoretical physics. Given David’s ultimate goal of studying theoretical physics at university, his stay at the Perimeter Institute was truly inspiring.

The experience of a lifetime
“It’s an experience I won’t forget. I love physics. The sense of understanding the world we live in captivates me. I’m fascinated by how much we’ve learned and how much there is to learn,” concludes David.

David Berardo at the Perimeter Institute summer 2011

David Berardo at the Perimeter Institute summer 2011 FR

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