Scott M. Oser

Professor of Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of British Columbia

TRIUMF Affiliate Scientist

University of British Columbia
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver  BC  V6T 1Z1

Office: Hennings 342

Phone: (604) 822-3191
Fax: (604) 822-5324
at TRIUMF: (604) 222-7595

Office Hours: email me for details



Department of Physics, University of Chicago

June 2000


Washington University. Double major in physics
and mathematics, with a minor in classical history.

May 1994


My research interests span a broad range of experimental high energy physics and particle astrophysics. My current activities are in the areas of direct dark matter searches and gravitational wave detection. My main focus is the SuperCDMS experiment, which will search for light dark matter particles in the 0.5-10 GeV/c2 mass range using cryogenic germanium and silicon detectors. SuperCDMS is currently under construction at SNOLAB, and will begin taking data in 2023. I am the PI of the Canadian SuperCDMS contingent, and served previously as the elected head of the SuperCDMS’s collaboration Council and Board. I also lead SuperCDMS’s Data Acquisition (DAQ) group. We have built a new trigger and readout scheme for SuperCDMS using the MIDAS DAQ package, which will provide deadtime-free triggering and data acquisition with very low detection thresholds.

In 2021 I joined the LISA Consortium. LISA is a space-based detector for gravitational waves expected to launch in ~2034. LISA will use laser interferometry between three spacecraft arranged in an equilateral triangle with a side length of 2.5 million km in order to detect modulations in the distance between spacecraft caused by the passage of gravitational waves with frequencies in the ~0.1-100 mHz range. I was co-organizer of the LISA-Canada Workshop in 2021, designed to build and organize Canadian involvement in the mission.

From 2003-2019 I was involved with the T2K neutrino oscillation experiment, and served as national spokesperson of the Canadian T2K effort from 2010-2015. T2K was the first long-baseline neutrino experiment to observe the appearance of electron neutrinos in a beam of muon neutrinos, and to place limits on CP violation in the lepton sector. From 2011-2013 I served co-convener of T2K's near detector group, consisting of over half of the collaboration. I also led the effort to build Fine-Grained Detectors (FGDs) for T2K, which are finely segmented active neutrino targets using polystyrene scintillator, passive water target layers, and Multi-Pixel Photon Counters with wavelength-shifting fibers for read-out. Previously I served as convener of T2K's near detector muon neutrino analysis group and as chair of T2K's Publication Board.

I previously worked on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), which is a solar neutrino experiment designed to measure both the total flux of neutrinos from the Sun and the flux of electron neutrinos. SNO was the first experiment to directly measure the flavor content of the solar neutrino flux, and to demonstrate conclusively that solar neutrinos undergo flavor transformation, pointing to a final resolution of the long-standing solar neutrino problem. Art McDonald was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2015 for this discovery. The SNO experiment ended in 2006, and has published its final physics results. My main contributions to the SNO experiment were in the areas of signal extraction techniques, day-night uncertainties, and time variability/periodicity measurements.

I was also involved with the K2K experiment. K2K was the first long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, and concluded data-taking in the fall of 2004. It was designed to look for for neutrino oscillations in a muon neutrino beam sent from the KEK laboratory towards the Super-Kamiokande detector.

As a graduate student I worked in the area of gamma-ray astrophysics with the STACEE experiment. STACEE is a novel ground-based atmospheric Cherenkov telescope built using the steerable mirrors at a solar power test facility. My Ph.D. thesis was the first ground-based measurement of the Crab Nebula's flux and search for pulsed emission from the Crab's pulsar below 200 GeV.


I currently teach Physics 509C, a graduate-level course in statistical data analysis for the physical sciences ,and an upper-level course called Zoological Physics (PHYS 438/BIOL 438), which is cross-listed between the physics and zoology departments.

Selected Awards:

  1. CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal, 2019

  2. Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2016

  3. 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics: awarded for my work in both the SNO and T2K collaborations

  4. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2008

  5. Teaching Excellence Award, UBC Science Undergraduate Society, 2007

  6. NSERC John C. Polanyi Award, 2006

  7. Canada Research Chair in Origins, 2004-2014

  8. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1994

  9. Phi Beta Kappa, 1993

Some Talks I've Given:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (A Neutrino): a talk on neutrinos suitable for the general public

Blind Analyses, or The Answer's Not In the Back of the Book: a colloquium-level talk on blind analyses

Lake Louise Winter Institute 2006:
    Lecture 1: Neutrino Physics Part 1: Neutrinos in the Standard Model, and Why the Standard Model is Wrong
    Lecture 2: Neutrino Physics Part 2: Beyond the Nu Standard Model

Selected Publications
(You may also click the following link to search INSPIRES for more of my publications.):

Yes, the guy in the cartoon is supposed to be me.  Blame my cartoonist wife, who drew it.

Scott Oser June 2, 2022