Winterberg is well respected for his work in the fields of nuclear fusion and plasma physics, and Edward Teller has been quoted as saying that he had “perhaps not received the attention he deserves” for his work on fusion. He is an elected member of the Paris-based International Academy of Astronautics, in which he sat on the Committee of Interstellar Space Exploration. According to his faculty webpage, In 1954 he “made the first proposal to test general relativity with atomic clocks in earth satellites” and his thermonuclear microexplosion ignition concept was adopted by the British Interplanetary Society for their Project Daedalus Starship Study.

His current research is on the “Planck Aether Hypothesis”, “a novel theory that explains both quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity as asymptotic low energy approximations, and gives a spectrum of particles greatly resembling the standard model. Einstein’s gravitational and Maxwell’s electromagnetic equations are unified by the symmetric and antisymmetric wave mode of a vortex sponge, Dirac spinors result from gravitationally interacting bound positive-negative mass vortices, which explains why the mass of an electron is so much smaller than the Planck mass. The phenomenon of charge is for the first time explained to result from the zero point oscillations of Planck mass particles bound in vortex filaments.” The theory proposes that the only free parameters in the fundamental equations of physics are the Planck length, mass, and time, and shows why R3 is the natural space, as SU2 is treated as the fundamental group isomorphic to SO3 — an alternative to string field theories in R10 and M theory in R11. It permits the value of the finestructure constant at the Planck length to be computed, and this value remarkably agrees with the empirical value. He has published extensively on many aspects of physics from the 1950s through the present. In 2008, Winterberg criticized string theory and pointed out the shortcomings of Einstein’s general theory of relativity because of its inability to be reconciled with quantum mechanics at the Physical Interpretations of Relativity Theory conference and published his findings in Physics Essays.