For her PhD thesis on "Resolving particle acceleration and transport in the jets of the microquasar SS 433 with H.E.S.S. and HAWC" Dr. Laura Olivera-Nieto was awarded the Heidelberg Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Dissertation Prize 2023 for Physics and Astronomy.
In her work, Olivera-Nieto investigated the binary system SS 433 using data from the Cherenkov observatories H.E.S.S. and HAWC, and developed improved methods for analysing data from both observatories.
She was able to show for the first time that the origin of gamma radiation from the outer jets of the binary system is energy-dependent and, using the data and simulations obtained, was able to pinpoint the location and mechanism of one of the most efficient particle accelerators in the universe within the jet of the binary system. The results of the dissertation were recently published in the journal Science.
The dissertation prize was established in 2019 by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation. It is awarded annually by the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Heidelberg University to acknowledge outstanding research within the scope of a doctoral thesis.