The Master's Thesis Prize is annually awarded by the Finnish Physical Society for the best final thesis for a master's degree in the area of physical sciences. In 2021, the society elected MSc Kaapo Seppänen's thesis "HTL Self-energies in Hot and Dense QCD" that he wrote on theoretical particle physics for the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki the best thesis of the year. The prize, worth 1,000 euros, was awarded to Seppänen at the Physics Days that were organised as a remote event on Wednesday 2 March 2022, and where he gave a talk on his research.
The thermodynamics of dense quark matter
In his master's thesis, Kaapo Seppänen studied the thermodynamic features of extremely dense quark matter by performing higher-order perturbative calculations in quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which is the theory of strong interactions. The results of the thesis will be used in the derivation of a new order for the perturbative equation of state for dense quark matter, which in turn will have a major impact to the determination of the inner structure of neutron stars. Two scientific articles are now being written on Seppänen's calculations.
Risto Paatelainen and Aleksi Vuorinen from the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki acted as supervisors for Seppänen's thesis. They say that Kaapo Seppänen's work held an exceptionally high standard, besides for the calculations, also for the pedagogical and mature tone of the text.