Kiri Daust (right) was one of only 20 Canadian students to be invited to the International Summer School for Young Physicists.

Bulkley Valley teen has fun with fermions at international physics camp

Smithers grad Kiri Daust melded minds with 40 of the brightest teens in the world at the International Summer School for Young Physicists.

Smithers grad Kiri Daust melded minds with 40 of the brightest teenagers from around the world at the International Summer School for Young Physicists.

The two-week physics camp invited Daust as one of only 20 Canadians to get the chance to meet some of the top scientists and like-minded teens at the Perimeter Institute for theoretical physics in Waterloo, Ont.

The Perimeter Institute is one of the world’s leading theoretical physics collaborative buildings, so I was fortunate enough to go this year,” said Daust.

It was an incredible experience … Everybody there was so incredible. People were just so interested. We’re all kind of nerds, but everybody was very diverse so we ended up playing a lot of music together and learning calculus in the evenings.

I made some really great friends there from Spain and Germany, and Canada of course,” said the accomplished violin player.

The first week had the young future scientists listen in on lectures about special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, and other subjects that delve into the structure and function of the universe.

Quantum mechanics are just so amazing because there’s all these features when you get down to really nano scales, they’re just really unbelievable,” said Daust, who did not hide is excitement about the subject as he went on to describe fermions and bosons.

A visit to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLAB) was also a highlight for the 18-year-old, who plans on attending Quest University in Squamish to obtain a combined Arts and Sciences degree, focusing on physics and biochemistry.

It’s in a nickel mine two kilometres under Sudbury … They did end up finding neutrinos and they were the station that showed neutrinos actually had mass,” explained Daust, who also visited a quantum computing lab.

At the end of the camp, the campers were split into groups of five with researchers and doctorate students. Daust’s group looked at superconductors, which allow electricity to flow through with zero resistance.

Daust is the second Smithers Secondary student to go to the camp, after classmate Janay Ma went last year. Smithers is the only school to send students two years in a row.

Daust said a big part of students’ success here was due to the enthusiasm shown by teacher Richard Audet.

We’ve got some really keen kids and I just try to be excited about science … I bring science news into the classroom as much as possible to say ‘hey, this is what’s happening …’ and some of it catches on,” said Audet.

Someone like Kiri, he was already there. He was in the front row going ‘ooh-ooh, I got a question about that!’”

Jesse Hiemstra was the first local student sent to the camp about ten years ago. The aerospace engineer recently visited SSS and talked with students. He helped designed the CanX-7 satellite to clean up space junk in orbit.


Just Posted

Granisle grizzlies moved

Video of the release of grizzlies getting a bit too comfortable in Granisle.

Telkwa student UNBC valedictorian

Arctica Cunningham gives her valedictorian speech May 25 at University of Northern British Columbia.

Local nurses celebrated during National Nurses Week

One nurse inspiring others to have pride in their jobs by wearing her nurse’s cap again

Second national bowling title for Madison Richter

Madison Richter, 14, is getting used to going out of town and coming home as a national champion.

International students land in Smithers

There are 20 people who came from the other side of the world to study in Smithers.

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to Canada

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title

Most Read