Space Research & Planetary Sciences (WP)

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Peter Wurz

Head of Division

Weltraumforschung und Planetologie

Phone
+41 31 684 44 26
E-Mail
peter.wurz@unibe.ch
Office
110 / 1.OG
Postal Address
Sidlerstrasse 5
CH-3012 Bern
Switzerland
  • Physik I (Thermodynamik)
  • Praktikum I und II
  • Measurement Techniques
  • Planetary Atmospheres, Ionospheres, and Magnetospheres
  • Introduction to Space Science
  • Mass Spectrometry and Ion Optics
  • Master and Doctoral Thesis

Participation in the following space missions

  • Co-Investigator on the CELIAS instrument on the SOHO mission
  • Co-Investigator on the LENA instrument on the IMAGE mission
  • Lead Scientist for the RTOF instrument of the ROSINA experiment on the Rosetta mission
  • Co-Investigator on the ASPERA-3 instrument on the Mars Express mission
  • Co-Investigator on the PLASTIC instrument on the STEREO mission
  • Co-Investigator on the ASPERA-4 instrument on the Venus Express mission
  • Co-Investigator on the NPA-IS / SERENA instrument on MPO / BepiColombo
  • Co-Investigator on the ENA instrument on MMO / BepiColombo
  • Co-Investigator on the IBEX-Lo instrument on the IBEX mission
  • Co-Investigator on the SARA instrument on the Chandrayaan-1 mission
  • Principal Investigator for the P-BACE instrument on the MEAP mission
  • Co-Principal Investigator on the LASMA instrument on the Phobos-Grunt mission
  • Principal Investigator for the NGMS instrument on the Luna-Resurs and Luna-Glob missions
  • Co-Principal Investigator on the LASMA instrument on the Luna-Resurs and Luna-Glob missions
  • Co-Investigator on the HIS/SWA instrument on the Solar Orbiter mission
  • Co-Principal Investigator on the PEP instrument on the JUICE mission.
  • Co-Investigator on the IMAP-Lo instrument on the IMAP mission
  • Co-Principal Investigator on the MANIaC instrument on the Comet Interceptor mission
  • Co-Investigator on the LIA instrument on the SMILE mission
  • Co-Investigator on the MINPA instrument on the Chinese Mars Explorer Mission

Professional Committee Assignments

  • On the committee performing the feasibility and phase-A study for the ALP-SAT mission
  • On the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Mercury Cornerstone Mission BepiColombo of ESA
  • On the Science Definition Team for the Laplace Mission of ESA.
  • Swiss IAGA delegate for Div. II-IV (2002–2016)
  • Member of the price committee for Professor Heinrich Greinacher Stiftung Price (2010–2011)
  • Head of price committee for Professor Heinrich Greinacher Stiftung Price (2012–2016)
  • Member of the Swiss Committee on Space Research (CSR), Sc|Nat (2018–2020)

Laboratories

MEFISTO Laboratory: for the calibration of space plasma instruments in the energy range of 10 eV/q to 100 keV/q, for ions with different charge states and energetic neutral atoms. The facility allows also for TV tests and UV tests. 

LMS Laboratory: for the development of laser mass spectrometers for in situ chemical composition measurements on planetary surfaces, including mineralogy, petrology, dating, and astrobiology. 

Degrees

  • Ingenieur (Engineer Electronics and Telecommunications), TGM Wien XX, Austria, 1980
  • Diplom Ingenieur (M.S. Physics), Technical University of Vienna, Austria, 1987
  • Doktor der Technischen Wissenschaften (PhD), Technical University of Vienna, Austria, 1990
  • Venia Docendi, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 1999, Habilitation Thesis
  • Associate Professor, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2003
  • Full Professor, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2008

Positions Held

Year Position
1981 - 1983 Electronics engineer, Vienna, Austria
1983 - 1985 Software engineer, Vienna, Austria
1985 - 1990 Research assistant, Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technical University of Vienna, Austria
1987 Visiting researcher (2 months), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
1988 Visiting researcher (3 months), Molecular Physics Division, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California, USA (Fulbright Scholar)
1990 - 1992 Post-doctoral appointment at Materials Science/Chemistry Divisions, Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, USA
1992 - 2000 Research associate at Physikalisches Institut, Department of Mass Spectrometry and Space Science, University of Bern, Switzerland
2000 - 2003 Docent at Physikalisches Institut, Department of Mass Spectrometry and Space Science, University of Bern, Switzerland
2003 - 2008 Associate Professor at Physikalisches Institut, Department of Space Science and Planetology, University of Bern, Switzerland
since 2008 Full Professor at Physikalisches Institut, Department of Space Science and Planetology, University of Bern, Switzerland
since 2015 Director, Department of Space Science and Planetology, Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Switzerland

Relevant Scientific Experience

  • Extraterrestrial physics, space plasma physics
  • Planetary Science
  • Astrobiology
  • Space instrumentation
  • Electron-stimulated desorption of alkali-halides
  • Sputtering of metals and insulators
  • Ion optical design of electron guns, ion sources and beam delivery systems, time-of-flight mass spectrometers, ion mirrors for high-resolution mass spectrometers, Fourier-Transform mass spectrometers
  • Optical spectroscopy in the visible, UV and VUV ranges, laser desorption and laser spectroscopy
  • Theoretical and experimental studies in physical chemistry
  • Lead scientist for the test and calibration facility MEFISTO

 

About 440 scientific publications in refereed journals and 85 conference proceedings on topics related to extraterrestrial physics, space plasma physics, space science instrumentation, electron-stimulated desorption, ion-sputtering, ion optics, physical chemistry, and laser interaction with solids and particles.

 

Reviewer for the following Scientific Journals:

  • Advances in Space Research
  • Atmosphere (MDPI)
  • Annales Geophysicae
  • Geophysical Research Letters
  • Icarus
  • International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
  • Journal of the American Society of Mass Spectrometry
  • Journal of Geophysical Research
  • Journal of Separation Science
  • Mass Spectrometry Reviews
  • Measurement Science & Technology
  • Nature Communications
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Planetary and Space Science (Outstanding Reviewer 2013 and 2016)
  • Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
  • Review of Scientific Instruments
  • Spectrochimica Acta B
  • Surface Science
  • Superconductor Science and Technology
  • Vacuum