Research from department faculty and graduates, past and present, has been selected to be featured by Physical Review B in honor of the journal's 50-year anniversary. The journal selected papers "that have made lasting contributions to condensed matter physics." Two of the more than fifty papers selected were published by faculty and students from the department.
The first paper was published by Liang Fu, Lawrence C. (1944) and Sarah W. Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics at MIT, and Charles Kane, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics, while Dr. Fu was earning his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. The paper, "Topological insulators with inversion symmetry", was selected because it "enabled a number of ab initio methods to efficiently identify materials realization of topological insulators."
The second paper featured was written by Wu-Pei Su, Professor at the University of Houston and department Ph.D. graduate, the late John Robert Schrieffer, former Mary Amanda Wood Professor of Physics and department faculty for nearly 20 years, and Alan J. Heeger, Professor Emeritus at the University of California-Santa Barbara and former department professor. The paper, "Soliton excitations in polyacetylene", was published while Dr. Su was a Ph.D. student in the department and Drs. Schrieffer and Heeger were faculty. The paper "explored the unusual electronic properties of polyacetylene" and showed that "the seemingly simple setting proves to be the source of a number of counterintuitive and exciting phenomena."