Jason Steffen

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

Biography

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.

Education

  • PhD in Physics, University of Washington, Seattle
  • BS in Physics and Mathematic, Weber State University

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Jason Steffen In The News

Ars Technica
January 23, 2021
Jason Steffen studies planets in other solar systems. His most famous work—OK, second-most famous work—was with NASA’s Kepler Mission, a survey of planetary systems. But you’re more likely to have heard of Steffen, a professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, in a very different context: as a student of the airplane boarding process. Years ago, after waiting in yet another line on a jam-packed jetway, the physicist thought to himself, “There has to be a better way than this.”
Wired
January 22, 2021
Jason Steffen studies planets in other solar systems. His most famous work—OK, second-most famous work—was with NASA’s Kepler Mission, a survey of planetary systems. But you’re more likely to have heard of Steffen, a professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, in a very different context: as a student of the airplane boarding process. Years ago, after waiting in yet another line on a jam-packed jetway, the physicist thought to himself, “There has to be a better way than this.”
Popular Science
October 5, 2020
Some 322 light-years away in the constellation Libra lies one of the most extreme and hottest worlds discovered by astronomers so far. Launched into Earth orbit last December, the European Space Agency’s shiny new exoplanet-hunting satellite CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (or CHEOPS) spotted exoplanet WASP-189b, a gas giant circling close to one of the hottest known stars with a planetary system.
Las Vegas Review Journal
July 17, 2020
The Comet NEOWISE is expected to remain visible to the naked eye through Saturday. Following that, it will be visible with binoculars or a telescope until the end of July.

Articles Featuring Jason Steffen

Campus News | February 3, 2021
A collection of news stories from the new year highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.
A portrait of UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus News | August 10, 2020
As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.
A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus News | July 2, 2020
A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.
UNLV professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
People | December 27, 2019
A collection of stories highlighting UNLV faculty and students who made the news in 2019.