For the fourth time, the dissertation prize of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy was awarded last year. The winner of this round is Dr. Meike Küßner.
In her doctoral thesis, Meike Küßner studied the generation of matter in the collision of two photons. In the PhD thesis supervised by Prof. Fritz-Herbert Heinsius and Prof. Ulrich Wiedner at the Chair of Experimental Hadron Physics, she analyzed data from the BESIII experiment located in Beijing. Her dissertation entitled "Coupled Channel Partial Wave Analysis of Two-Photon Reactions at BESIII" has now been awarded the PhD Prize of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy.
On Meike Küßner's work:
One of the fundamental goals of particle physics is to gain insight into the forces prevailing in the universe and its building blocks by studying particles and their properties. In addition to conventional matter, a number of exotic hadrons of more complex structure are expected to exist within the framework of the theory of the strong interaction, which do not consist only of quarks. These exotic particles include, for example, glueballs consisting only of gluons and hybrids. Understanding such exotic states contributes to the fundamental question of how mass is produced by strong interactions. Two-photon reactions provide indirect information about the gluonic fraction of such exotic particles.
I am fascinated by how matter is created from massless particles and to understand what the world is made of and how it works at the smallest level. I am always curious to look for answers to these fundamental questions in the smallest building blocks. The international collaborations in which we work also allow us to learn about the world on a human level.
Dr. Meike Küßner
During her PhD Meike Küßner performed, among other things, a very elaborate analysis of events from different production and decay channels, which she selected from data of the BESIII detector. The obtained results of the PhD thesis allow direct conclusions on the internal structure of the contributing particles and represent the first analysis of this kind. Meike Küßner is pursuing her research interests as a post-doc at the Chair of Experimental Hadron Physics in the framework of the NRW-FAIR project and is aiming for a scientific career.
The award will be presented at the next annual academic celebration. The award, which has been presented since 2019, comes with a prize money of 4000 euros, donated by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation. Young scientists who have completed their doctorate at the faculty in the two years prior to the award and have distinguished themselves through outstanding, original and independent research contributions can be nominated for the prize. All university teachers who supervise doctoral theses at the faculty can submit nominations.