Quanz Sascha, Prof. Dr.
Please give us a personal quote or a quote of a famous person (e.g. of Albert Einstein) that describes you and your life/work.
“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” (Robert F. Kennedy / George Bernard Shaw)
Please describe your job in only one sentence and tell us what the most important goal of this work is.
I am working on techniques (technical, observational, software) that enable the direct detection (i.e., direct imaging and spectroscopy) of exoplanets. While there are several distinct near- and mid-term goals, the ultimate goal will be to take pictures of Earth-like planets and characterize their atmospheres. Technically, this is not yet possible, but we can get prepared, train ourselves and think of new ways and approaches that bring us closer to this goal.
How did you get into this research/work field?
I have always been fascinated by exoplanets and driven by the question, whether (some) exoplanets can be / are habitable. I believe that ultimately it will be the direct imaging technique that will allow us to address this very fundamental question.
What would be the greatest discovery you would like to see in your life time?
The first image of a small, rocky exoplanet around one of the nearest stars and a first attempt in determining (in parts) its atmospheric properties.
You work for the NCCR PlanetS. What do you think will the NCCR enable you to do you couldn’t do without it?
Create new synergies with other groups and enable ‘short-cuts’ for joint projects with other Swiss colleagues.