Matthias is interested in galaxy clusters and what we can learn from them for cosmology and physics.
At the very beginning of that process stands the identification of clusters and to measure their distances. His current main project uses cluster candidates detected with other surveys & methods, such as surveys using X-ray satellites or microwave observations from the South Pole Telescope, and confirms them using the DES data. For that, he is pushing the DES data to its limits to find clusters up to redshifts of z~1.2.
We asked Matthias a few more questions — here’s what he had to say:
What is your favorite part about being a scientist?
Discovering new things. Being a scientist means making new discoveries. And this can be very exciting.
When did you know you wanted to be a scientist?
I think I its part of your character or what others may call your soul. You simply stay curious for new things, even when you grow up. And if you think you are good enough or you are simply too curious you make a job out of it.
What motivates / inspires you?
Curiosity and creativity. Science is like art, you have to be creative and find new solutions to new or old questions.
If you weren’t a scientist, what would your dream job be?
Engineer. I love to build and invent things, if not as scientist then as an engineer.
What is your favorite space image, and why?
There are too many pictures out there. But the ones I like the most are those I made myself. Its simply becomes a part of you, when you spend much time studying a particular object. But I like images of galaxy clusters most (Bullet Cluster, Pandora Cluster, Train wreck Cluster) and of course Abell 1689.
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
Stay curious and don’t give up.