Clifford V. Johnson

Clifford V. Johnson, Professor of Physics at the University of Southern California, gives many public lectures about his research and appears often in television documentaries as an expert. He has been science advisor for several movies and television series, including Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok and the National Geographic Channel's Genius. He received the American Association of Physics Teachers 2018 Klopsteg Memorial Award for outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public.

  • The Dialogues

    The Dialogues

    Conversations about the Nature of the Universe

    Clifford V. Johnson

    A series of conversations about science in graphic form, on subjects that range from the science of cooking to the multiverse.

    Physicist Clifford Johnson thinks that we should have more conversations about science. Science should be on our daily conversation menu, along with topics like politics, books, sports, or the latest prestige cable drama. Conversations about science, he tells us, shouldn't be left to the experts. In The Dialogues, Johnson invites us to eavesdrop on a series of nine conversations, in graphic-novel form—written and drawn by Johnson—about “the nature of the universe.” The conversations take place all over the world, in museums, on trains, in restaurants, in what may or may not be Freud's favorite coffeehouse. The conversationalists are men, women, children, experts, and amateur science buffs. The topics of their conversations range from the science of cooking to the multiverse and string theory. The graphic form is especially suited for physics; one drawing can show what it would take many words to explain.

    In the first conversation, a couple meets at a costume party; they speculate about a scientist with superhero powers who doesn't use them to fight crime but to do more science, and they discuss what it means to have a “beautiful equation” in science. Their conversation spills into another chapter (“Hold on, you haven't told me about light yet”), and in a third chapter they exchange phone numbers. Another couple meets on a train and discusses immortality, time, black holes, and religion. A brother and sister experiment with a grain of rice. Two women sit in a sunny courtyard and discuss the multiverse, quantum gravity, and the anthropic principle. After reading these conversations, we are ready to start our own.

    • Hardcover $29.95
    • Paperback $19.95

Contributor

  • Twelve Tomorrows

    Twelve Tomorrows

    Wade Roush

    Twelve visions of the future—by turns hilarious, frightening, and relevant—from new and established voices in science fiction.

    In this book, new and established voices in science fiction come together to offer original stories of the future. Ken Liu writes about a virtual currency that hijacks our empathy; Elizabeth Bear shows us a smart home tricked into kidnapping its owner; Clifford V. Johnson presents, in a graphic novella, the story of a computer scientist seeing a new side of the AIs she has invented; and J. M. Ledgard describes a 28,000-year-old AI who meditates on the nature of loneliness. We encounter metal-melting viruses, vegetable-based heart transplants, search-and-rescue drones, and semi-automated sailing ships. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening, and always relevant, Twelve Tomorrows offers compelling visions of potential futures.

    Originally launched in 2011 by MIT Technology Review, the Twelve Tomorrows series explores the future implications of emerging technologies through the lens of fiction. Featuring a diverse collection of authors, characters, and stories rooted in contemporary real-world science, each volume in the series offers conceivable and inclusive stories of the future, celebrating and continuing the genre of “hard” science fiction pioneered by authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein. Twelve Tomorrows is the first volume of the series to be published in partnership with the MIT Press.

    Contributors Elizabeth Bear, SL Huang, Clifford V. Johnson, J. M. Ledgard, Liu Cixin, Ken Liu, Paul McAuley, Nnedi Okorafor, Malka Older, Sarah Pinsker, Alastair Reynolds

    • Paperback $19.95