MSU-IIT Participates in the 8th International Cosmic Day

by Vernie Convicto, CSM

For the second time in a row, MSU-IIT marks International Cosmic Day (ICD) in the Institute by holding a series of lectures and participating in a one-day international collaborative meeting (video conference) where scientists, teachers, and students meet to talk and learn about cosmic rays.

MSU-IIT participates in the November 6 ICD along with 67 other schools, universities, and research institutes from over 15 countries.

The observance of the ICD in the Institute is led by the Mindanao Radiation Physics Center (MRPC) of the Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM) and the Physics Department, with the assistance of the Center for MSU-IIT e-Learning (CMeL). 

The ICD, which is already on its 8th year, is organized by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), the largest accelerator center in Germany conducting a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary scientific research in high energy physics, photon science, and particle accelerators.

ICD serves as a platform where groups of scientists from renowned collaborations like Fermilab, International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG), NETZWERK TEILCHEMWELT, and QuarkNet, and teachers and students meet for one day to learn about cosmic rays and carry out an experiment with secondary cosmic ray particles. 

During the ICD, school groups from across the globe get together to ask questions like: What are cosmic particles? Where do they come from? How can they be measured?

According to MRPC head Dr. Angelina M. Bacala, the series of lectures is held on November 6 from 2:00-4:00 in the afternoon at the Conference Room on the 3rd floor of the PRISM building. 

Vernie C. Convicto, a PhD Physics student, gives a lecture on the overview and nature of cosmic rays that is followed by a lecture and demonstration on muon detection by Prof. Lowell Pamatong of the Physics Department. 

Vanessa Destura, MS Physics student, gives a talk on the applications of muon, the most abundant of the charged cosmic ray particles at sea level, in imaging. 

The goal of the ICD is to investigate the zenith angle dependency of particle showers induced by cosmic rays. In the absence or inaccessibility to functional Cosmic Ray Detector, participating groups or institutions can analyze publicly-available data through the learning platform Cosmic@Web, along with the background knowledge, description of the experiments and data sets and how it can be interpreted. 

To conclude the ICD2019, an international video conference is made for international exchanges of the results and analysis of the data, description of the detector, and presentation of school, institute, and country.

Prof. Pamatong, on the evening of November 6, leads more than two dozen Physics students at the CMeL during the ICD2019 video conference where he reports the results of the analysis of the angular distribution of cosmic ray muons.