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Thomas Steinberger

Research Assistant Professor

Plasma & Space Physics


My research primarily focuses on experimental plasma physics in a variety of settings. As a new research faculty member, I plan to improve upon current laser induced fluorescence diagnostic systems for a range of plasma systems. Part of my research involves implementing such diagnostics at WVU and remote facilities. I am also working to develop a three-photon absorption laser induced fluorescence diagnostic using a femtosecond pulsed laser system to measure virtually any atomic species in a gas or plasma. This diagnostic will be important for the future development of fast-data-acquisition fusion diagnostics that probe neutral species.


Thomas Steinberger received his Ph.D. in Experimental Plasma Physics from West Virginia University in 2021. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Center for KINETIC Plasma Physics at West Virginia University. His Ph.D. work focused on diagnosing electric thruster- and fusion- relevant plasmas both at WVU and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he implemented a laser-based diagnostic on the Prototype Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (Proto-MPEX). His present research pursues single- and multi-photon absorption laser spectroscopy diagnostics to measure ion and neutral velocity distribution functions in a range of cold gas and plasma systems.