Ward Plummer

Boyd Professor of Physics

Ph.D., 1968 - Cornell University

LSU Boyd Professor of Physics and National Academy of Science member Ward Plummer passed away on July 23, 2020. He was 79 years old.

Short Bio

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Research Interests

Experimental Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

Investigations of the phenomena associated with the unique environment at a surface or interface driven by broken symmetry and reduced dimensionality. Specifically of primary interest is the coupling of the electronic, magnetic, and structural properties (static and dynamic) at a surface.

This general theme is being applied by us to study correlated electron materials (CEMs) with functionalities like high-Tc superconductivity, "colossal" magnetoresistance, and coupled metal to insulator and magnetic transitions. Our approach is to investigate and hopefully learn how to tune the functionality in these materials by using the manifestations of broken symmetry, reduced dimensionality and spatial confinement, using a variety of experimental techniques couple closely with theory.

Achievements and awards

Mentored over 100 students and postdoctoral fellows; Published >400 papers; director of PENN laboratory for research in the structure of matter; director of Tennessee Advanced Material Laboratory; elected to the National Academy of Sciences; fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences; International Science and Technology Coopeation Award (China); Davission-Germer Prize; Welch Award, and; recipient Guggenheim and Humboldt Fellowships.

Selected Publications

  • Xun Jia, Shuyuan Zhang, Raman Sankar, Fang-Cheng Chou, Weihua Wang, K. Kempa, E. W. Plummer, Jiandi Zhang, Xuetao Zhu, Jiandong Guo, “An Anomalous Acoustic Plasmon from Topologically Protected States,” Phys. Rev. Letter, 119, 136805 (2017).
  • Silu Huang, Jisun Kim, W. A. Shelton, E. W. Plummer, Rongying Jin, “Non-Trivial Berry Phase in Magnetic BaMnSb2 Semimetal,” Proc. Nat. Academy of Sciences, 40, 6256 (2017).
  • Jian Shao, Hao Liu, Kai Zhang, Yang Yu, Weichao Yu, Hanxuan Lana, Jiebin Niu, Kai Du, Yunfang Kour, Wengang Wei, Fanli Lan, Yinyan Zhu, Wenbin Wang, Jiang Xiao, Lifeng Yin, E. W. Plummer, “Emerging single phase state in small manganite nanodisks,” Jian Shen, accepted PNAS (2016)
  • Xuetao Zhu, Yanwei Cao, Jiandi Zhang , E. W. Plummer, and Jiandong Guo, "Classification of Charge Density Waves Base on Their Origin," Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, 112, 2367 (2015).
  • Quorong Li, Qing, Li, Minghu Pan, Biao Hu, Chen Chen, Jing Teng, Zhenyu Diao, Jiandi Zhang, Rongying Jin, & E. W. Plummer, "Atomic-Scale Fingerprint of Mn Dopant at the Surface of Sr3(Ru1-xMnx)O7," Nature Scientific Reports, 3, 1 (2013).
  • Jing Teng, Chen Chen, Yiming Xiong, Jiandi Zhang, Rongying Jin, and EW. Plummer, "Anomalous Surface Lattice Dynamics in the Low Temperature Phase of Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2," Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, accepted.
  • Y. Wang, K, Kempa, and E. W. Plummer, "Foundations of Plasmonic," Advances in Physics, 60, 799 (2011).
  • T. Z. Ward, X. G. Zhang, L. F. Yin, X. Q. Zhang, Ming Liu, P. C. Snijders, S. Jesse, E. W. Plummer, Z. H. Cheng, and J. Shen, "Time-Resolved Electronic Phase Transitions in Manganites," Phys. Rev. Letters, 102, 087201 (2009).
  • R. G. Moore, Jiandi Zhang, V. B. Nascimento, R. Jin, Jiandong Guo, G. T. Wang, Z. Fang, D. Mandrus, and E. W. Plummer, "A Surface-Tailored Purely Electronic Mott Insulator-to-Metal Transition," Science 318, 615 (2007).
  • J. M. Carpinelli, H. H. Weitering, E. W. Plummer, and R. Stumpf, "Direct Observation of a Surface Charge Density Wave," Nature 381, 398 (1996).
  • E. Jensen and E. W. Plummer, “Experimental Band Structure of Na,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 55, 1912 (1985).
  • H. J. Freund, W. Eberhardt, D. Heskett, and E. W. Plummer, “Influence of Multielectron Excitations on the Band Structure of Adsorbate Overlayers,” H. J. Freund, W. Eberhardt, D. Heskett, and E. W. Plummer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 50, 768 (1983).
  • W. Eberhardt and E. W. Plummer, “Angle-Resolved Photoemission Determination of the Band Structure and Multi-Electron Excitations in Ni,” Phys. Rev. B 21, 3245 (1980).
  • H. J. Levinson, E. W. Plummer, and P. J. Feibelman, “The Effects on Photoemission of the Spatially Varying Photon Field at a Metal Surface,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 952 (1979).
  • W. Ho, R. F. Willis, and E. W. Plummer, “Observation of Nondipole Electron Impact Vibrational Excitations: H on W(100),” Phys. Rev. Lett. 480,1463 (1978).
  • E. W. Plummer, T. Gustafsson, D. E. Eastman and W. Gudat, “Partial Photoionization Cross Sections of N2 and CO Using Synchrotron Radiation,” Phys. Rev. A 15, 2339 (1977).
  • C. Allyn, and T. Gustafsson, “The Orientation of CO Adsorbed on Ni(100),” E. W. PlummerChem. Phys. Lett. 47, 127 (1977).
  • E. W. Plummer and J. W. Gadzuk, "Surface States on Tungsten," Phys. Rev. Lett. 25, 1493 (1970).