Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.9

Students from Thailand Learn About the Theory and Applications of Cryogenic Systems

High Energy Accelerator Research Organization Accelerator Laboratory (KEK)
Report by Prof. Nakai Hirotaka

 For a second year of the science and technology training course that started last year for 3 years, we invited 8 excellent university students and graduate students who have a high ability with English and are interested in cryogenics and an instructor for 10 days (September 12 - 21, 2019) from Silpakorn University, Mahasarakham University, and Chiang Mai University in Thailand. We also invited a participant who came at their own expense (10 people in total) to KEK and offered lectures and instruction on the fundamentals of cryogenics and the use of superconductivity in accelerators.

At KEK Communication Plaza

 Since the instructors in Thailand gave invitees a lecture regarding the foundation of cryogenic science we held last year for the course before they came to Japan, we added more advanced contents such as lectures on the types and theory of small refrigerators, lectures and practical work on superconducting high-frequency cavities which is one of the important devices for superconducting accelerators. Also, we had the graduate students of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies introduce their research content to the invitees and offered help to make them understand the educational content at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization and research environment.

Practical training in superconducting radio frequency (RF) cavities

 Conversely, since the participants are different from the ones last year, we planned the same activities as last year such as tour of a superconductivity research facility in KEK, visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, training using liquefied helium and liquefied nitrogen which support superconducting technology, and a social gathering at a Japanese style restaurant.

Practical training using liquid nitrogen

 Also, this year, we added the tour of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tsukuba Space Center and the Ushiku Daibutsu, a giant Buddha to their training content. The content was various and more fulfilling than last year.

 In the same way as last year, we had the students present a summary of the lecture contents both for a total review for the students, and to give them experience in giving presentations. Despite having almost no time to organize the lecture content or to draft materials, all the students did a great job of giving their summary presentations in English.

With the success from last year’s Sakura Science Exchange Program, we were able to conclude an academic exchange agreement between KEK and the Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Technology of Silpakorn University. To commemorate that, the completion ceremony was a grand event because we invited the President of Silpakom University and other relevant staff from the university in Thailand. In the same way as last year’s completion ceremony, we were surprised that the people from the universities had bigger expectations for Sakura Science Exchange Program.

At the completion ceremony

 It appears from reviewing the response to the questionnaire given to the students, that the massive size of the research facility of KEK and the practical training in cryogenics left an impression. However, there were also many responses indicating that the practical training in superconducting high-frequency cavities which is a portion that was changed in the program this year and their experiences with Japanese culture left an impression. Next year, which will be the last year of the course, we plan to give students lectures and practical training on superconducting electromagnets and the invitees will complete the acquisition of knowledge and experience relating to the latest superconducting technologies and cryogenics in the three years of training.

On our way to Ushiku Daibutsu