View Faculty Video 
Clifford JohnsonProfessor of Physics and AstronomyContact Information Email: johnson1@usc.edu Phone: (213) 8211772 Office: SSC 201 LINKS The blog  Asymptotia 
Education 

Ph.D. Theoretical Physics, University of Southampton, 6/1992  
B.S. Physics, Imperial College, London University, 6/1989  
Postdoctoral Training 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Theoretical Physics, UCSB, 09/199508/1998  
Instructor and Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University, 01/199508/1995  
Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 09/199212/1994  
Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History 

Tenure Track Appointments 

Professor, University of Southern California, 08/21/2003  
Professor, University of Durham, England, 01/01/200008/20/2003  
Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky, 01/01/199701/01/1999  
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 01/01/199501/01/1997  
Visiting Research Fellow and Lecturer, Princeton University, 01/01/199401/01/1995  
Postdoctoral member, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, 01/01/199201/01/1994  
Visiting and Temporary Appointments 

Visiting Professor, University of Durham, England, 08/20/200309/01/2006  
Description of Research 

Summary Statement of Research Interests 

Clifford Johnson's research interests are mainly concerned with the development of theoretical tools for the description of the basic fabric of Nature. He is part of the international effort to understand and describe the origin of, and the fundamental constituents (and their interactions) of the Universe. He works mainly on superstring theory, quantum gravity, gauge theory, and Mtheory, studying objects such as black holes and Dbranes, using a variety of techniques from Mathematics and Physics. Many of the same techniques can be applied to studying aspects of strongly coupled physics that are important in other experimental fields such as nuclear physics and condensed matter physics. Johnson's work in this area has led to insights into new descriptions of phenomena relevant to the quarkgluon plasma, cold atomic gases, and various quantum critical phenomena closely related to high temperature superconductors.  
Research Keywords 

superstring theory, quantum gravity, Mtheory, black holes, Dbranes, theoretical physics, quarks, gluons, superconductors  
Publications 

Book 

Johnson, C. V. (2002). DBranes. Cambridge Univ. Pr..  
Conference Proceeding 

Johnson, C. V. Academic Training Lectures on String Theory. Switzerland.  
Johnson, C. V. Lectures on String Theory. Waterloo, Canada.  
Journal Article 

Johnson, C. V. (2014). Holographic Heat Engines. Classical and Quantum Gravity. arXiv  
Johnson, C. V. (2014). Quantum Gravity and the Nuts and Bolts of Thermodynamic Volumes. Classical and Quantum Gravity. ArXiv  
Johnson, C. V. (2014). The Extended Thermodynamic Structure of TaubNUT and TaubBolt. Classical and Quantum Gravity. arxiv entry  
Johnson, C. V. (2013). Large N Phase Transitions, Finite Volume, and Entanglement Entropy. JHEP. Vol. 1403, pp. 047.  
Johnson, C. V., Albash, T., MacDonald, S. (2013). Holography, Fractionalization and Magnetic Fields. Lect.Notes Phys.. Vol. 871, pp. 537554. arXiv  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2012). Holographic Entanglement Entropy and Renormalization Group Flow. JHEP. Vol. 1202, pp. 095.  
Johnson, C. V., Albash, T. (2012). Holographic Studies of Entanglement Entropy in Superconductors. JHEP. Vol. 1205, pp. 079.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2011). {Thermal Dynamics of Quarks and Mesons in N=2* YangMills Theory}. JHEP. Vol. 07, pp. 063.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2011). {Dynamics of Fundamental Matter in N=2* YangMills Theory}. JHEP. Vol. 04, pp. 012.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2011). {Evolution of Holographic Entanglement Entropy after Thermal and Electromagnetic Quenches}. New J. Phys.. Vol. 13, pp. 045017.  
Iyer, R., Johnson, C. V., Pennington, J. S. (2011). {Nonperturbative String Theory from Water Waves}. J. Phys.. Vol. A44, pp. 375401.  
Iyer, R., Johnson, C. V., Pennington, J. S. (2011). {String Theory and Water Waves}. J. Phys.. Vol. A44, pp. 015403.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2010). {Landau Levels, Magnetic Fields and Holographic Fermi Liquids}. J. Phys.. Vol. A43, pp. 345404.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2010). {Holographic Aspects of Fermi Liquids in a Background Magnetic Field}. J. Phys.. Vol. A43, pp. 345405.  
Johnson, C. V., Steinberg, P. (2010). {What black holes teach about strongly coupled particles}. Phys. Today. Vol. 63N5, pp. 2933.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2009). {Vortex and Droplet Engineering in Holographic Superconductors}. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D80, pp. 126009.  
Filev, V. G., Johnson, C. V., Shock, J. P. (2009). {Universal Holographic Chiral Dynamics in an External Magnetic Field}. JHEP. Vol. 08, pp. 013.  
Johnson, C. V., Kundu, A. (2009). {Meson Spectra and Magnetic Fields in the SakaiSugimoto Model}. JHEP. Vol. 07, pp. 103.  
Filev, V. G., Johnson, C. V. (2008). Universality in the Large N(c) Dynamics of Flavour: Thermal Vs. Quantum Induced Phase Transitions. Journal of High Energy Physics. Vol. 0810, pp. 058.  
Albash, T., Filev, V. G., Johnson, C. V., Kundu, A. (2008). Quarks in an external electric field in finite temperature large N gauge theory. JHEP. Vol. 0808, pp. 092.  
Johnson, C. V., Kundu, A. (2008). External Fields and Chiral Symmetry Breaking in the SakaiSugimoto Model. Journal of High Energy Physics. Vol. 0812, pp. 053.  
Johnson, C. V., Albash, T. (2008). A Holographic Superconductor in an External Magnetic Field. Journal of High Energy Physics. Vol. 0809, pp. 121.  
Albash, T., Filev, V., Johnson, C. V., Kundu, A. (2008). A TopologyChanging Phase Transition and the Dynamics of Flavour. Physical Review D/American Physical Society. Vol. D77, pp. 066004.  
Albash, T., Filev, V., Johnson, C. V., Kundu, A. (2008). Global Currents, Phase Transitions, and Chiral Symmetry Breaking in Large N(c) Gauge Theory. Journal of High Energy Physics. Vol. 0812, pp. 033.  
Carlisle, J. E., Johnson, C. V., Pennington, J. S. (2008). Backlund Transformations, DBranes, and Fluxes in Minimal Type 0 Strings. Journal of Physics A. Vol. 41, pp. 085401.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V., Filev, V., Kundu, A. (2008). Finite temperature large N gauge theory with quarks in an external magnetic field. JHEP. Vol. 0807, pp. 080.  
Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2008). {A Holographic Superconductor in an External Magnetic Field}. JHEP. Vol. 09, pp. 121.  
Filev, V. G., Johnson, C. V. (2008). {Universality in the Large N_c Dynamics of Flavour: Thermal Vs. Quantum Induced Phase Transitions}. JHEP. Vol. 10, pp. 058.  
Johnson, C. V., Kundu, A. (2008). {External Fields and Chiral Symmetry Breaking in the Sakai Sugimoto Model}. JHEP. Vol. 12, pp. 053.  
Johnson, C. V. (2007). Flavoured large N gauge theory in an external magnetic field. JHEP. Vol. 0710, pp. 019.  
Johnson, C. V. (2007). Dbranes and fluxes in supersymmetric quantum mechanics. Journal of Physics A.  
Filev, V., Johnson, C. V. Aspects of Spinning Strings and Giant Gravitons. Journal of High Energy Physics/Institute of Physics. Vol. NA  
Filev, V., Johnson, C. V. (2005). Operators with large quantum numbers, spinning strings, and giant gravitons. Physical Review D/American Physical Society. Vol. Phys.Rev.D71, pp. 106007,2005..  
Johnson, C. V. (2005). Unoriented Minimal Type 0 Strings. Journal of High Energy Physics/Institute of Physics. Vol. 12 (2004) 073  
Johnson, C. V. (2004). An Exact String Theory Model of Closed TimeLike Curves and Cosmological Singularities. Physical Review D/American Physical Society. Vol. D70 (2004) 126011  
Johnson, C. V. (2004). Tachyon condensation, openclosed duality, resolvents, and minimal bosonic and type0 strings. Journal of High Energy Physics/Institute of Physics. Vol. JHEP12(2004)072  
Johnson, C. V., Barrett, J. K. (2004). Wrapped D Branes as BPS Monopoles: The Moduli Space Perspective. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D69  
Johnson, C. V. (2004). NonPerturbative String Equations for Type 0A'. JHEP. Vol. 0403, pp. 041.  
Johnson, C. V., Carlisle, J. E. (2003). Holographic RG Flows and Universal Structures on the Coulomb Branch of N=2 Supersymmetric Large n Gauge Theory. JHEP. Vol. 0307, pp. 039.  
Johnson, C. V., Svendsen, H. G. (2003). Dbrane  Anti  D  brane Forces in Plane Wave Backgrounds: A Fall From Grace. JHEP. Vol. 0305, pp. 055.  
Johnson, C. V., Jarv, L. (2003). Rotating Black Holes, Closed TimeLike Curves, Thermodynamics, and the Enhancon Mechanism. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D67  
Johnson, C. V., Lovis, K. J., Myers, R. C. (2003). Penrose Limits, Deformed ppWaves and the String Duals of N=1 Large n Gauge Theory. Phys. Rev. D.. Vol. 67, pp. 066003.  
Johnson, C. V., Dyson, L., Jarv, L. (2002). Oblate, Toroidal and Other Shapes for the Enhancon. JHEP. Vol. 0205, pp. 019.  
Johnson, C. V., Evans, N., Petrini, M. (2002). Clearing the Throat: Irrelevant Operators and Finite Temperature in Large n Gauge Theory. JHEP. Vol. 0205, pp. 002.  
Johnson, C. V., Lovis, K. J., Page, D. C. (2001). The Kahler Structure of Supersymmetric Holographic RG Flows. JHEP. Vol. 0110, pp. 014.  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. C. (2001). The Enhancon, Black Holes, and the Second Law'. Phys.Rev.. Vol. D64  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. C., Peet, A. W., Ross, S. F. (2001). The Enhancon and the Consistency of Excision. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D64  
Johnson, C. V., Lovis, K. J., Page, D. C. (2001). Probing some N =1 AdS/CFT RG flows. JHEP. Vol. 0105, pp. 036.  
Johnson, C. V., Awad, A. M. (2001). Higher Dimensional KerrAdS Black Holes and the AdS/CFT Correspondence. Phys.Rev.. Vol. D63  
Johnson, C. V. (2001). Enhancons, Fuzzy Spheres and MultiMonopoles. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D63  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. C., Constable, N. R. (2000). Fractional Branes and the Entropy of 4D Black Holes'. JHEP. Vol. 0009, pp. 039.  
Johnson, C. V., Evans, N., Petrini, M. (2000). The Enhancon and N=2 Gauge Theory/Gravity RG Flows. JHEP. Vol. 0010, pp. 022.  
Johnson, C. V., Awad, A. M. (2000). Scale Vs. Conformal Invariance in the AdS/CFT Correspondence'. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D62  
Johnson, C. V., Jarv, L. (2000). Orientifolds, MTheory, and the ABCD's of the Enhancon. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D62  
Johnson, C. V., Peet, A. W., Polchinski, J. (2000). Gauge Theory and the Excision of Repulson Singularities. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D61  
Johnson, C. V., Awad, A. M. (1999). Holographic Stress Tensors for KerrAdS Black Holes. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D60  
Johnson, C. V., Chamblin, A., Emparan, R., Myers, R. (1999). Holography, Thermodynamics and Fluctuations of Charged AdS Black Holes. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 60, pp. 104026.  
Johnson, C. V., Emparan, R., Myers, R. C. (1999). Surface Terms as Counterterms in the AdS/CFT Correspondence. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 60, pp. 104001.  
Johnson, C. V., Chamblin, A., Emparan, R., Myers, R. C. (1999). Charged AdS Black Holes and Catastrophic Holography. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 60, pp. 064018.  
Johnson, C. V., Chamblin, A., Emparan, R., Myers, R. C. (1999). Large N Phases, Gravitational Instantons and the Nuts and Bolts of AdS Holography. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 59, pp. 064012.  
Johnson, C. V. (1998). On SecondQuantized Open Superstring Theory. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 537, pp. 144.  
Johnson, C. V. (1998). More Superstrings from Supergravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 537, pp. 129.  
Johnson, C. V. (1998). On the (0,4) Conformal Field Theory of the Throat. Mod. Phys. Lett. A. Vol. 13, pp. 2463.  
Johnson, C. V. (1998). Superstrings from Supergravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 537, pp. 109.  
Johnson, C. V. (1998). Anatomy of a Duality. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 521, pp. 71.  
Johnson, C. V. (1997). From MTheory to FTheory, with Branes. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 5070, pp. 227.  
Johnson, C. V. (1997). On the Orientifolding of Type II NSFivebranes. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 56, pp. 5160.  
Johnson, C. V., Evans, N., Shapere, A. (1997). Orientifolds, Branes, and the Duality of 4D Gauge Theories. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 505, pp. 251.  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. (1997). Aspects of Type IIB Theory on ALE Spaces. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 55, pp. 6382.  
Johnson, C. V. (1997). Introduction to DBranes, with Applications. Nucl. Phys. B (Proc. Suppl.). Vol. 52A, pp. 326332.  
Johnson, C. V., Gimon, E. (1996). Multiple Realisations of N=1 Vacua in Six Dimensions. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 479, pp. 285.  
Johnson, C. V., Gimon, E. (1996). K3 Orientifolds. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 477, pp. 715.  
Johnson, C. V., Khuri, R., Myers, R. (1996). Entropy of 4D Extremal Black Holes. Phys. Lett. B. Vol. 378, pp. 78.  
Johnson, C. V., Berglund, P., Kachru, S., Zaugg, P. (1996). Heterotic Coset Models and (0,2) String Vacua. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 460, pp. 252.  
Johnson, C. V., Kaloper, N., Khuri, R., Myers, R. (1996). Is String Theory a Theory of Strings?. Phys. Lett. B. Vol. 368, pp. 71.  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. (1995). Conformal Field Theory of a Rotating Dyon. Phys. Lett. D. Vol. 52, pp. 2294.  
Johnson, C. V. (1995). Heterotic Coset Models. Mod. Phys. Lett. A. Vol. 10, pp. 549.  
Johnson, C. V. (1994). Exact Models of Extremal Dyonic FourDimensional Black hole Solutions of Heterotic String Theory. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 50, pp. 4032.  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. (1994). TaubNUT Dyons in Heterotic String Theory. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 50, pp. 6512.  
Johnson, C. V. (1994). On Integrable c<1 OpenClosed String Theory. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 414, pp. 239.  
Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T., Watterstam, A. (1992). Unitary Matrix Models and 2D Quantum Gravity. Mod. Phys. Lett. A. Vol. 7, pp. 2753.  
Johnson, C. V., Morris, T., White, P. (1992). The Boundary Cosmological Constant in Stable 2D Quantum Gravity. Phys. Lett. B. Vol. 292, pp. 283.  
Johnson, C. V., Morris, T., Watterstam, A. (1992). Global KdV Flows and Stable 2D Quantum Gravity. Phys. Lett. B. Vol. 291, pp. 11.  
Johnson, C. V., Morris, T., Spence, B. (1992). Stable NonPerturbative Minimal Models Coupled to 2D Quantum Gravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 384, pp. 381.  
Johnson, C. V., Ambjorn, J., Morris, T. (1992). Stochastic Quantisation Vs KdV Flows in 2D Quantum Gravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 374, pp. 496.  
Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1992). NonPerturbative TwoDimensional Quantum Gravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 368, pp. 655.  
Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1992). Multicritical Complex Matrix Models and nonPerturbative 2D Quantum Gravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 368, pp. 625.  
Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1991). Classification of Critical Hermitian Matrix Models. Phys. Lett. A. Vol. 6, pp. 439.  
Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1991). Factorisation Properties of Critical Matrix Models. Phys. Lett. B. Vol. 262, pp. 18.  
Johnson, C. V., Webb, S. (1990). The Perception of Detail in Radioisotope Images with Gaussian Noise. Phys. Med. Biol.. Vol. 35, pp. 1145.  
Other 

Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2009). {Phases of Holographic Superconductors in an External Magnetic Field}. http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:0906.0519.  
Johnson, C. V. (2007). Heterotic Coset Models of Microscopic Strings and Black Holes. http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:0707.4303.  
Johnson, C. V. (2006). Strings Everywhere?.  
Johnson, C. V. (2006). String Theory Without Branes. http://arxiv.org/abs/hepth/0610223.  
Johnson, C. V. (2000). DBrane Primer. http://arxiv.org/abs/hepth/0007170.  
Johnson, C. V., Polshinski, J., Chaudhuri, S. (1996). Notes on DBranes. http://arxiv.org/abs/hepth/9602052.  
Proceedings 

Johnson, C. V. (2005). Current Trends in String Theory. pp. 29913006,2005. Singapore. Annual Meeting of the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) of the American Physical Society (APS), Riverside, California, 2631 Aug 2004./International Journal of Modern Physics.  
Johnson, C. V. (1999). Etudes on DBranes. Proc. of the 1998 Trieste Spring School, "Nonperturbative Aspects of Strings, Branes, and Supersymmetry; World Scientific.  
Johnson, C. V. (1997). Putting String Duality to Work. Proc. of the 1997 Annual Winter Meeting of the UK HEP community.  
Johnson, C. V. (1994). Heterotic Cosets. Proc. of the Trieste Summer School and Workshop on High Energy Physics and Cosmology.  
Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. (1994). Stringy Twists of the TaubNUT Metric. Stanford, CA. Proc. of the 7th Marcel Grossmann meeting on General Relativity.  
Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1991). NonPerturbative TwoDimensional Quantum Gravity, Again. Barcelona. Proc. of the Workshop on Random Surfaces and 2D Quantum Gravity.  
Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works 

Film, Wrote, codirected and coproduced a 13 minute documentary film celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Aspen Center for Physics. Available here (pause to allow download), 20112012  
Book/ Graphic Novel, Exciting new project combining visual works with text to bring science (physics and related topics) to a wider audience through narrative and character. Spring 2010 sabbatical began development of the idea and associated techniques. Reports on progress and samples can be found on the blog here., 2010  
Film development , Worked with IOpenShell group in Chemistry on developing some educational videos about basic chemistry and physics projects. Cowrote, codirected and coproduced the films. See results: here and here., 04/200808/2009  
Theatre Play, Two act play written and developed in collaboration with playwright (and school of theatre faculty) Oliver Mayer. It is part of an outreach effort to create works that portray science and scientists in a dramatic setting. In 2006 it won an award (Sloan Foundation) from the Magic Theater in San Francisco to be developed further., 20062007  
Honors and Awards 

Selection to appear in Who's Who in Black Los Angeles, Spring 2008  
Magic Theatre’s Sloan Foundation Commission for play "Dark Matters", 20062007  
Selection as one of "Coming Kings" in King Magazine, Spring 2007  
USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, In recognition of balance and outstanding performance in the three areas of teaching, scholarship, and service within the University, 2005  
2005 Maxwell Medal and Prize, presented by the Institute of Physics , UK, 2005  
NSF Career Award, 1997  
EPSRC (U.K.) N.A.T.O. Fellowship, 1992  
Lindemann Fellowship, 1992  
Faculty may update their profile by visiting https://mydornsife.usc.edu. 