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John Curry


Research Interests

I am interested in developing and using atomic spectroscopic methods to study plasma physics.  An example is the use of x-ray induced fluorescence to understand the radiative, chemical, and physical properties of high-intensity plasma arcs.  High-energy synchrotron radiation at the Advanced Photon Source is used to probe the inner atomic shell of various species in the arc. Using this technique, we are able to see the distribution of each chemical element regardless of its distribution across various atomic and molecular species.  In turn, this allows us to examine and understand the chemical equilibrium and deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium. I am also interested in the acquisition and compilation of basic atomic data. I am currently working on a comprehensive compilation of Ba energy levels, wavelengths, and transition probabilities for all stages of ionization.


Group Leader

Employment History:

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2001-Present
  • University of Wisconsin, Research Scientist, 1998-2001
  • University of Wisconsin, Research Associate, 1995-1998


  • University of Maryland, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, 1995
        Thesis Title: Measurement of Fokker-Planck Transport in a Gas Discharge    Using Non-Linear Laser-Induced Fluorescence
  • University of Maryland, M.S. Electrical Engineering, 1989
  • Johns Hopkins University, B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1987

Phone: 301-975-2817