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Clifford Johnson

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Contact Information
E-mail: johnson1@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-1772
Office: SSC 201

LINKS
The blog - Asymptotia
 

Education

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


  • Postdoctoral Training

    • Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Theoretical Physics, UCSB, 09/1995-08/1998  
    • Instructor and Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University, 01/1995-08/1995  
    • Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 09/1992-12/1994  

    Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Professor, University of Southern California, 08/21/2003-  
    • Professor, University of Durham, England, 01/01/2000-08/20/2003  
    • Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky, 01/01/1997-01/01/1999  
    • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 01/01/1995-01/01/1997  
    • Visiting Research Fellow and Lecturer, Princeton University, 01/01/1994-01/01/1995  
    • Postdoctoral member, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, 01/01/1992-01/01/1994  

    Visiting and Temporary Appointments
    • Visiting Professor, University of Durham, England, 08/20/2003-09/01/2006  

    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 M-theory, studying objects such as black holes and D-branes, 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 quark-gluon plasma, cold atomic gases, and various quantum critical phenomena closely related to high temperature superconductors.
    Research Keywords
    superstring theory, quantum gravity, M-theory, black holes, D-branes, theoretical physics, quarks, gluons, superconductors

    Publications


    Book
    • Johnson, C. V. (2002). D-Branes. 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). Quantum Gravity and the Nuts and Bolts of Thermodynamic Volumes. ArXiv
    • Johnson, C. V. (2014). Holographic Heat Engines. arXiv
    • 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. 537-554. 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* Yang-Mills Theory}. JHEP. Vol. 07, pp. 063.
    • Albash, T., Johnson, C. V. (2011). {Dynamics of Fundamental Matter in N=2* Yang-Mills 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). {Non-perturbative 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. 29-33.
    • 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 Sakai-Sugimoto 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 Sakai-Sugimoto 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 Topology-Changing 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, D-Branes, 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). D-branes 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 Time-Like Curves and Cosmological Singularities. Physical Review D/American Physical Society. Vol. D70 (2004) 126011
    • Johnson, C. V. (2004). Tachyon condensation, open-closed duality, resolvents, and minimal bosonic and type-0 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). Non-Perturbative 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). D-brane - 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 Time-Like Curves, Thermodynamics, and the Enhancon Mechanism. Phys. Rev.. Vol. D67
    • Johnson, C. V., Lovis, K. J., Myers, R. C. (2003). Penrose Limits, Deformed pp-Waves 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 Kerr-AdS Black Holes and the AdS/CFT Correspondence. Phys.Rev.. Vol. D63
    • Johnson, C. V. (2001). Enhancons, Fuzzy Spheres and Multi-Monopoles. 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, M-Theory, 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 Kerr-AdS 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 Second-Quantized 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 M-Theory to F-Theory, with Branes. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 5070, pp. 227.
    • Johnson, C. V. (1997). On the Orientifolding of Type II NS-Fivebranes. 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 D-Branes, with Applications. Nucl. Phys. B (Proc. Suppl.). Vol. 52A, pp. 326-332.
    • 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 Four-Dimensional Black hole Solutions of Heterotic String Theory. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 50, pp. 4032.
    • Johnson, C. V., Myers, R. (1994). Taub-NUT Dyons in Heterotic String Theory. Phys. Rev. D. Vol. 50, pp. 6512.
    • Johnson, C. V. (1994). On Integrable c<1 Open-Closed 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 Non-Perturbative 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). Non-Perturbative Two-Dimensional Quantum Gravity. Nucl. Phys. B. Vol. 368, pp. 655.
    • Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1992). Multicritical Complex Matrix Models and non-Perturbative 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/hep-th/0610223.
    • Johnson, C. V. (2000). D-Brane Primer. http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0007170.
    • Johnson, C. V., Polshinski, J., Chaudhuri, S. (1996). Notes on D-Branes. http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9602052.

    Proceedings
    • Johnson, C. V. (2005). Current Trends in String Theory. pp. 2991-3006,2005. Singapore. Annual Meeting of the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) of the American Physical Society (APS), Riverside, California, 26-31 Aug 2004./International Journal of Modern Physics.
    • Johnson, C. V. (1999). Etudes on D-Branes. 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 Taub-NUT Metric. Stanford, CA. Proc. of the 7th Marcel Grossmann meeting on General Relativity.
    • Johnson, C. V., Dalley, S., Morris, T. (1991). Non-Perturbative Two-Dimensional Quantum Gravity, Again. Barcelona. Proc. of the Workshop on Random Surfaces and 2D Quantum Gravity.

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • 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., 2006-2007   
    • Film development , Worked with IOpenShell group in Chemistry on developing some educational videos about basic chemistry and physics projects. Co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced the films. See results: here and here., 04/2008-08/2009  
    • 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, Wrote, co-directed and co-produced a 13 minute documentary film celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Aspen Center for Physics. Available here (pause to allow download), 2011-2012   

    Honors and Awards

    • Selection to appear in Who's Who in Black Los Angeles, Spring 2008   
    • Magic Theatre‚Äôs Sloan Foundation Commission for play "Dark Matters", 2006-2007  
    • Selection as one of "Coming Kings" in King Magazine, Spring 2007   
    • 2005 Maxwell Medal and Prize, presented by the Institute of Physics , UK, 2005  
    • 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  
    • NSF Career Award, 1997  
    • EPSRC (U.K.) N.A.T.O. Fellowship, 1992  
    • Lindemann Fellowship, 1992  


  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Southern California
  • 825 Bloom Walk
  • ACB 439
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0484