Neil F. Johnson

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Neil Johnson
ResidenceUnited States
NationalityU.S., British
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Harvard University
Known forComplex systems
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
George Washington University
Universidad de Los Andes
University of Miami
Doctoral advisorHenry Ehrenreich
Doctoral studentsAlexandra Olaya-Castro

Neil Fraser Johnson (born Romford, Essex, UK) is a professor of physics notable for his work in complexity theory and complex systems, spanning quantum information, econophysics, and condensed matter physics. He is currently Professor of Physics at George Washington University in Washington D.C. where he heads up a new initiative in Complexity and Data Science which combines cross-disciplinary fundamental research with data science, with a view to resolving complex real-world problems.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and is the recipient of the 2018 Burton Award from the APS[1].

He presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures "Arrows of time" on BBC TV in 1999. He has more than 300 published research papers across a wide variety of research topics[2] and has supervised the doctoral theses of more than 25 students. He is also notable for his books Financial Market Complexity published by Oxford University Press and Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory published by Oneworld Publications, and for his research on the many-body dynamics of insurgent conflict and online extremism.[3][4]

Education and Career[edit]

He received his BA/MA from St. John's College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge and then received his PhD as a Kennedy Scholar in 1989 from Harvard University. He attended Southend High School in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK.

Following his PhD., he was first appointed as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, then as a Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota. He was then Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford until 2007, having joined the faculty in 1992. After a period as Professor of Physics at the University of Miami in Florida, he was appointed Professor of Physics at George Washington University in 2018.

While a student at school and university, Johnson was a sax player with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) in the U.K. and toured extensively with them. He appears on a number of commercial recordings with NYJO and with other artists as a session musician[5].

Selected publications[edit]

  • Johnson, Neil F.; Jefferies, Paul; Hui, Pak Ming (2003). Financial Market Complexity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-852665-2.
  • Olaya-Castro, Alexandra; Fassioli Olsen, Francesca; Lee, Chiu Fan; Johnson, Neil F. (2008). "Ultrafast Quantum Dynamics in Photosynthesis". In Derek Abbott; Paul C W Davies; Arun K Pati. Quantum Aspects of Life. Imperial College Press. ISBN 978-1848162532.
  • Johnson, Neil F. (2009). Simply Complexity, A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory. Oxford: Oneworld. ISBN 978-1851686308.


  1. ^ Burton Award [1]
  2. ^ List of references at [2]
  3. ^ Bohorquez; Gourley, S; Dixon, AR; Spagat, M; Johnson, NF; et al. (17 December 2009). "Common Ecology Quantifies Human Insurgency". Nature. NPG. 462 (7275): 911–914. Bibcode:2009Natur.462..911B. doi:10.1038/nature08631. PMID 20016600.
  4. ^ Zhao; et al. (2 October 2009). "Anomalously Slow Attrition Times for Asymmetric Populations with Internal Group Dynamics". Physical Review Letters. APS. 103: 148701. arXiv:0910.1622. Bibcode:2009PhRvL.103n8701Z. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.103.148701. PMID 19905607.
  5. ^ NYJO [3]

External links[edit]