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Clifford Johnson

Professor of Physics and Astronomy, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Clifford Johnson is the author of the non-fiction graphic novel “The Dialogues: Conversations About the Nature of the Universe,” (MIT Press). He blogs at

His 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.


  • –present
    Professor of Physics and Astronomy , University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences