Hello and welcome to my personal website! My name is David Gallacher (he/him) and I'm a PhD student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I am studying particle physics at McGill university working with Dr. Thomas Brunner as part of the Brunner Neutrino Lab. I moved here recently from Ottawa, Ontario, where I lived for 9 years while attending Carleton University. During my time in Ottawa, I completed an honours BSc in Physics and a MSc in Particle Physics, my supervisor for both BSc and MSc theses' was Dr. Mark Boulay. Over the years in Ottawa I worked in various roles in restaurants; as a cook, bartender, server, and supervisor, around the city and developed a deep love for food and cooking that I enjoy to share with others. Since early 2017 I have been vegan, and I've adopted cooking tasty vegan food for others as my main form of activism. 

 The purpose of this website is to share some information about myself, my physics research interests and personal projects. To read about my physics research projects, see some recipes, or to read my personal blog, see my Interests section. 

Current Physics Research Interests

My current research interests are centred around light detection techniques for liquid noble detectors. Liquid noble detectors are scintillation detectors which employ condensed noble gasses such as xenon and argon, the two most popular media. These detectors are used to perform detailed measurements for particle interactions, and because they are easy to purify, they are the perfect target material for rare event search experiments. The photosensor technology of choice for upcoming experiments are called “Silicon Photomultipliers” or SiPMs for short. Testing and characterizing these devices in the cryogenic environment of liquid noble detectors (87-170 K) is one of the focus areas for my research. 

I am currently at McGill University, working as the run co-ordinator for a liquid xenon experiment called “LoLX”, where I am responsible for maintaining the data-acquisition system, organizing data-taking, and developing analysis and data-readout software. LoLX, or “light only liquid xenon” is a small-scale (10 cm) liquid xenon detector which employs 96 SiPM devices to collect xenon scintillation light. LoLX aims to perform detailed characterization measurements of SiPM noise properties in a liquid xenon environment, study novel background rejection techniques for future liquid xenon detectors, such as nEXO, and to measure the scintillation timing properties of liquid xenon, which may be used to improve existing PET scanners.
 For more details on specific projects I'm working on now in the past, check out my physics page. If you want to reach out and collaborate on a project, please see my contact info below!

Academic Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD, Physics, Specializing in Experimental Particle Physics - McGill University, Montreal QC, Canada - In Progress, Expected Graduation 2025
  • MSc,  Physics, Specializing in Particle Physics - Carleton University, Ottawa ON, Canada - 2021
  • BSc, Experimental Physics (Honours) - Carleton University, Ottawa ON, Canada - 2019

Highlighted Publications
  • D. Gallacher et. al, Development and characterization of a slow wavelength shifting coating for background rejection in liquid argon detectors,2021,Submitted to NIMA, DOI: arXiv
  • DEAP Collaboration, First direct detection constraints on Planck-scale mass dark matter with
    multiple-scatter signatures using the DEAP-3600 detector
    , January 2022, PRL,  DOI
  • D. Gallacher and M. Boulay,Surface background rejection technique for liquid argon dark matter detectors using a thin scintillating layer,2020,JINST 15 C03016, DOI: 10.1088/1748-0221/15/03/C03016
  • DEAP Collaboration, Search for dark matter with a 231-day exposure of liquid argon using DEAP-3600 at SNOLAB,2021,PRD,100,022004 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.100.022004
Highlighted Presentations
  • Light Detection in Noble Elements (LIDINE) 2021: Development and characterization of a slow wavelength shifting coating for background rejection in liquid argon detectors, September 2021, (Slides)
  • Canadian Association of Physicists Congress 2021: Argon-1: An R&D detector for next generation LAr experiments, June 2021, (Slides)
  • McDonald Institute National Meeting of the Canadian Astroparticle Physics Community: Argon-1: A single-phase LAr detector for studies in novel detector technologies and background rejection techniques, August 2020, (Slides)
  • Light Detection in Noble Elements (LIDINE) 2019, Manchester UK: Surface background rejection techinque for liquid argon dark matter detectors using a thin scintillating layer, August 2019, (Slides)

To stay up-to-date on my research work, follow me on ResearchGate!

Click the button below to download my full CV.