Elias Burstein (Deceased)

Elias Burstein

Professor of Physics Emeritus


  • Assistant Instructor, Chemistry Department, Univ. of Kansas (1939-41)
  • Research Assistant, Chemistry Department, MIT (1941-43)
  • Research Associate, NDRC project in Physics Department, MIT (1943-44)
  • Physicist, Crystal Branch, Naval Research Laboratory (1945-48);
    Head of Physics Section, Crystal Branch (1948-58);
    Head of Semiconductors Branch (May 1958 - Sept. 1958)
  • Professor of Physics, Univ. of Pennsylvania, (1958-)
  • Mary Amanda Wood Professor of Physics (1982-88); Emeritus (1988-)
  • Visiting Professor, Univ. of California at Irvine (1967-68)
  • Visiting Professor, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem and Univ. of Parma, Italy (1974)
  • 150th Anniversary Jubilee Visiting Professor of Physics, Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden (1981)
  • Miller Institute Visiting Research Professor, Physics Department, University of California, 1996
  • Member, Committee on the Sciences and the Arts, Franklin Institute, 1994 -


Honors include:


  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (1979).
  • John Price Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, 1979.
  • Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1980-81.
  • Honorary Doctor of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, 1982.
  • Honorary Doctor of Science, Brooklyn College, 1985.
  • Frank Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society, 1986.
  • Von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, 1988-1990.
  • Honorary Doctor of Science, Emory University, 1994.
  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, Ohio State Univdersity, 1999 



A.B., Brooklyn College, 1938
A.M., University of Kansas, 1941
Graduate Studies in Chemistry and Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1941-43 and at Catholic University, 1946-48 

Research Interests

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics


My recent work has been focused on i) linear and nonlinear electromagnetic phenomena at metal and semiconductor surfaces, interfaces and hetero-structures, and in quantum wells, ii) the dependence of the photo-physics of fullerene (C60) molecules on their local environment, iii) the C60 molecule as a quantum dot and 1v) molecular luminescence probes for scanning near-field optical microscopy. I am currently co-Editor with Marvin Cohen, Doug Mills and Phil Stiles of the Elsevier series of volumes “Contemporary Concepts of Condensed Matter Science.”


Selected Publications


  • “Exciton-Polaritons in Nonlinear Optical Phenomena in Semiconductors:
    An Overview of Major Developments”, E. Burstein in "Electromagnetic
    Interactions in Condensed Matter", a Festschrift Volume on the occasion of the 60th Birthday of Professor V.M. Agranovich, edited by A.A. Abrikosov, T.A. Leskova and D.L. Mills, Physics Reports 194, 253-272 (1990).
  • “Role of Surface Electronic Transitions in Linear and Nonlinear
    electromagnetic Phenomena at Noble Metal Surfaces: Beyond Jellium”,
    M.Y. Jiang, G. Pajer and E. Burstein, “Proc. Yamada Conf. on The Surface
    as a New Material", Japan, July, 1990, Surface Science, 242, 306 (1991).
  • “The Charge State of C60 (Buckminsterfullerene) Molecules Adsorbed
    on a Metal Surface: Theoretical Considerations”, E. Burstein, S.C. Erwin,
    M.Y. Jiang and R.P. Messmer, Proceedings of the Nobel Jubilee
    Symposium on Low Dimensional Properties of Solids, , Goteberg, Sweden,
    Physica Scripta T42, 207 (1992).
  • “Inelastic light Scattering by the two-dimensional electron gas:
    fractional quantum Hall regime and beyond”. A. Pinczuk, B.S. Dennis, L.N.
    Pheiffer, K.W. West and E. Burstein, Phil Mag. B70, 429 (1994).
  • “Resonant Inelastic Light Scattering by Electronic Excitations in 2D
    Semiconductor Plasmas”, E. Burstein, M.Y. Jiang and A. Pinczuk,
    Annales De Physique Colloque C2, 191 (1995).
  • “The dependence of the symmetry (spin) forbidden photoluminescence of C60 molecules on their proximity to metals”, Igor Yurchenko, Elias Burstein, Zoya Kazantseva, William Romanow and Larry Brard, Ultramicroscopy 61, 259 (1995)
  • “Investigations of Cyclotron Resonance in InSb and PbTe: Intraband Transitions between Landau Levels”, Elias Burstein in the Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of Cyclotron Resonance in Semiconductors of the 27th International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors, Flagstaff, AZ, edited by Jose Menendez and Chris G. Van de Walle ( American Institute of Physics, 2005), p. 17-22,
  • “ Raman Scattering by LO Phonons in semiconductors: the role of the Franz-Keldysh effect”, Elias Burstein, in Problems of Condensed Matter Physics, a Festschrift for Leonid Keldysh on his 75th Birthday edited by Alexei L. Ivanov and Sergei G. Tikhodeev (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2007) p 70-82.
  • "Confined Electrons and Photons: New Physics and Applications" Volume
    of Lectures of NATO Advanced Summer School, Erice, Italy, edited by E. Burstein and C. Weisbuch (Plenum Press, London 1995).
  • “Contemporary Concepts in Condensed Matter Science”, Elsevier series of Volumes, co-edited by Elias Burstein, Marvin Cohen, Doug Mill and Phil Stiles:
    1. Conceptual Foundations of Materials: A standare model for ground- and excited-state Properties, edited by Steven Louie and Marvin Cohen
    2. Nanomagnetism: Ultrathin films, multilayaers and nanostructures, edited by Doug Mills and J.A.C.Bland.