Thailand has been chosen as the site of the first computing centre in Southeast Asia to analyse data from the world's biggest physics experiment.
The new Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) centre will be opened soon under an agreement between Thai agencies and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Chulalongkorn University, Suranaree University of Technology and CERN signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint development and operation of the centre in Bangkok on Thursday evening, Thai News Network reported.
A worker rides his bicycle in the tunnel that houses the Large Hadron Collider in Meyrin, near Geneva. (AFP Photo)
The WLCG project provides global computing resources to store, distribute and analyse the more than 25 Petabytes (25 million Gigabytes) of data generated each year by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN on the Franco-Swiss border.
As of the end of 2012, the project had 170 computing facilities in a worldwide network across 36 countries.
The $9-billion LHC, the largest experimental facility ever built, occupies a 27-kilometre tunnel deep below the border between Switzerland and France.
The collider was designed to investigate the existence of the Higgs boson, an important particle that physicists had sought for more than 40 years.
Experiments carried out in the collider last year confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson. This week Peter Higgs, for whom it was named, and Francois Englert won the Nobel Prize in physics.
Ties between Thailand and CERN have been established and strengthened considerably because of four visits to CERN by Her Royal Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Princess Sirindhorn proposed the idea for Thailand's collaboration with CERN to increase opportunities for Thai scientists.
By having access to data on various research projects, she said, they could help further develop knowledge of particle physics in the country.
The agreement also has potential to allow the country to further upgrade infrastructure, including water management, climate change scenarios, computer engineering and computer science.
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