Second ThaisCube workshop strengthens partnership between IceCube, Thailand

A group photo of a bunch of people at the front of a room
Participants of the 2nd ThaisCube workshop in 2023. Credit: Jetsada (Arm) Maburee

Last week concluded the 2nd ThaisCube workshop held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a program that developed from a partnership between Chiang Mai University (CMU) in Thailand, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. The workshop brought together IceCube researchers, Thai scientists, and aspiring young students. 

Held on August 8-11, the workshop hosted 40 high school, undergraduate, and master’s students pursuing degrees in physics, astronomy, mathematics, computer science, engineering, or related fields. For the first time, the program welcomed students from Thailand, USA, and the Philippines. 

Participants were able to interact with and hear from IceCube and Thai researchers and gain knowledge in a multitude of subject areas, including multimessenger astrophysics, neutrino physics, detector physics, cosmic rays, radio neutrino detectors, and gamma-ray astronomy.

A man giving a public lecture in front of a crowded auditorium full of people
Albrecht Karle giving the public lecture during the 2nd ThaisCube workshop. Credit: Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University

The program kicked off with welcome remarks given by CMU professor Siramas Komonjinda and Sate Sampattagul, professor at the Program Management Unit for Human Resources & Institutional Development, Research and Innovation.

Invited speakers from IceCube included IceCube collaborators Albrecht Karle, IceCube Director of Science and Instrumentation at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison), Professor Paul Evenson, University of Delaware, Vedant Basu, a PhD student at UW–Madison, and Chiara Bellenghi, a PhD student at the Technische Universität München. 

Two women giving a talk in front of a room
Thai students Yanee (Kift) Tangjai and Wassachon (Tonliew) Kammeemoon give a talk about their summer student visit at the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Credit: Albrecht Karle
A man showing a woman how to use a cosmic watch detector
Vedant Basu explains how the cosmic watch detector works to a Thai student. Credit: Albrecht Karle

The workshop also included several lectures on astroparticle physics given by Thai scientists Dr. Achara Seripienlert from NARIT, Dr. Chayanit Asawatangtrakuldee from Chulalongkorn University, Dr. Wirin Sonsrettee from Panyapiwat Institute of Management, and Dr. Alejandro Saiz and Dr. Warit Mitthumsiri from Mahidol University.

A woman with a mask sitting in front of the Princess Sirindhorn Neutron Monitor
Waraporn Nuntiyakul explains how the Princess Sirindhorn Neutron Monitor works at the Doi Inthanon National Park. Credit: Albrecht Karle

Other highlights from the workshop included remarks from CMU physics professor and associate member of IceCube Waraporn Nuntiyakul, a live webcast from the South Pole featuring IceCube winterovers Marc Jacquart and Hrvoje Dujmovic, and an icebreaker activity. A highlight of the program was a public lecture given by Karle, titled “The Telescope in the Ice: A View of High Energy Universe from the South Pole.”

“This workshop is significant in that it represents the continued development of the collaborative research in IceCube science, and on future detector upgrades such as the surface array enhancement, the IceCube Upgrade and the future IceCube-Gen2,” said Karle. 

Participants also had the opportunity to visit CMU’s Changvan mobile neutron detector at the Northern Science Park and the Princess Sirindhorn Neutron Monitor at Doi Inthanon National Park.

“This workshop marked a significant milestone for us as it was our first international attempt,” said Nuntiyakul. “The participants of this workshop have made an indelible impact, and I am deeply appreciative.”

A group of people in front of the mobile neutron detector
Participants at the Changvan mobile neutron detector at the Northern Science Park. Credit:. Jetsada (Arm) Maburee

The 3rd edition of the ThaisCube workshop will be hosted in Thailand in August 2024.