SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Gavin C.

Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
Grade 12 student Gavin C. has been immersing himself in the study of quantum and particle physics, an interest that began during SOUL Seeking when he was in Grade 10. In that first year, he discovered the current developing theory known as string theory, exploring topics like pocket dimensions and one-dimensional propagating strings in two-dimensional space represented as all world sheets. From this initial exploration, he decided he wanted to be able to explain quantum interactions by increasing his skills in mathematics, embarking on a three-year journey of discovery.

The following year he expanded on his knowledge and dove into particle physics, where he found Thomas Young's double slit experiment, which explains the wave-particle duality. By conducting experiments to prove the duality, one with water and one with light, he proved the wave pattern through one of them. The other only failed due to inaccurate measurements. That did not stop him, though; he dove into old university textbooks to search for a value for psi known as the wave function. 

In his third year of research, and with his SOUL Seeking project doubling as his Capstone project, Gavin combined his knowledge of quantum mechanics and particle physics into an experiment that prevented muons from tampering with electronics. The investigation was made by using a cloud chamber and observing muons ionizing with saturated air as they passed through a medium of aluminum. He also worked on a few activities that explained the particle zoo and a few cloud chamber pictures to identify the trails of visible particles and invisible ones such as neutrinos and pions. His three years of extensive exploration resulted in three essays, two lab reports, three presentations and 50 pages of research, all supporting his work. 
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.