An event for human resource and membership development was organized on 14 February, 2018 by the IEEE ComSoc Thailand Chapter with ECTI association (quantumIT) at Mahidol Wittayanusorn (MWIT), the national high school for gifted students, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
This school talk and discussion aimed at introducing a story of quantum information technology (QIP) through its history with current worldwide news, and also their present situations including related IT applications (quantum computing and cryptography). All was presented for students self-learning and helping on widespread distribution to their own generation.
In recent decades the established field of quantum information technology has been mentioning widely with high potential and impact (the age of basic quantum mechanics is about a century). However, in Thailand, where quantum mechanics arrived more than 40 years ago, there are serious cases of confusion. Ultimately, most science lessons and books from government agencies as well as from private publishers mentioned fundamental particles absurdly from what the original is (as a countable or in fixed unit of matter, i.e. not as two photons or three electrons but shown arbitrarily in Thai language as “photons two units or electron three bodies” instead).
Up to the 2017 survey, this strange learning appeared from physics classes continued throughout all society via science news and other media. Consequently, serious misunderstanding starting from school influenced all translated science news in the local language, effected to fabricated R&D with related publications at the university level, produced a number of fraudulant products with “quantum” in their name, and already reached policy decision makers sharing much fake news related to quantum mechanics (more details at Q-Thai.org).
Following the above depressing situation that developed over the past four decades, one possible solution is to notify the beginner, high school student, who has just been surrounded with those incorrect local media reports, especially from their Thai physics books (starting in grade 11) and others. The goal is to show them how local learning differs from other areas of the world.
Basically, a student’s first encounter with quantum mechanics should then be reconsidered and reshaped simpler as “it is easy to bend a young twig, but difficult to bend an old one.” Organizers focused on these young people as the main target group this year.
Thirty (of grade 11-12) MWIT students with teachers attended this event. Fruitful student questions also re-motivated the IEEE ComSoc Thailand Chapter and its partner to re-organize the presentation to demystify the “quantum story” for non-technical people outside school.
An introduction to the benefit of IEEE membership was also given to MWIT teachers for collaboration with the IEEE local section. Finally, the growth of a new generation of scientists and engineers from this gifted school is expected to help expand the correct understanding of QIP nationwide.