Jason Steffen

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Expertise: Astronomy, Exoplanets, Cosmology, Dark matter and energy, Gravitation, General physics


Jason Steffen works in the field of exoplanets — planets that orbit distant stars. He has been a member of the science team for NASA's Kepler mission.  He continues to analyze data from that mission to understand the properties of planets and planetary systems. He also worked on projects related to dark matter, dark energy, and gravity.

Steffen is originally from Utah and attended graduate school in Seattle. Before coming to UNLV, he was the Lindheimer Fellow at Northwestern University and the Brinson Fellow at Fermilab outside of Chicago.

In addition to his work in astrophysics, he is known for the Steffen Method, a procedure to efficiently board passengers on an airplane.


  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of Washington, Seattle
  • B.S. in Physics and Mathematic, Weber State University

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Jason Steffen In The News

April 23, 2022
A scientist named Jason Steffen conducts computer simulations to facilitate these two processes on flight, which then in 2008 he introduced his method known as The Steffen Perfect and the Steffen Method.
April 1, 2022
Water ice is water ice, you might say. Okay, you have rockets, pear ice creams and so on. But if you freeze nothing but pure water—that is, molecules made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms—you simply get ice—right?
Sunday Guardian Live
March 26, 2022
Researchers have discovered a new form of ice, which could have implications for our understanding of distant, water-rich planets. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Physical Review B’. Solid water, or ice, is like many other materials in that it can form different solid materials based on variable temperatures and pressure conditions, like carbon forming diamond or graphite. However, water is exceptional in this aspect as there are at least 20 solid forms of ice known to us. A team of scientists working in UNLV’s Nevada Extreme Conditions Lab pioneered a new method for measuring the properties of water under high pressure. The water sample was first squeezed between the tips of two opposite-facing diamonds — freezing into several jumbled ice crystals. The ice was then subjected to a laser-heating technique that temporarily melted it before it quickly reformed into a powder-like collection of tiny crystals.
K.V.V.U. T.V. Fox 5
March 25, 2022
Student says new form of ice could potentially be from outer space.

Articles Featuring Jason Steffen

UNLV's first conference tournament championship—and automatic bid to the NCAA Championship—since winning the Big West in 1994. It will be the Lady Rebels first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. March 9, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | April 1, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

books inside the UNLV Bookstore
Campus News | February 10, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.