Matthew Johnson

Photograph of Matthew Johnson
York University
Areas of research:
If you are interested in pursuing a MSc degree, please apply to the Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) masters program. If you are interested in working with me as a PhD student, please submit an application directly to my department at York University and indicate that you would like to be supervised by me. Perimeter Institute is committed to diversity within its community and I welcome applications from underrepresented groups.
The goal of my research is to understand the fundamental laws of nature through their impact on cosmology. I am primarily a theorist, dabbling in cosmology, field theory, string theory, and gravitation. I also design data analysis algorithms to confront fundamental theory with observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. Here is a sampling of questions that my research aims to answer: How big is the universe? What might lie beyond our observable universe, and how could we confirm or disprove various proposals? What role do the extra dimensions predicted by string theory play in cosmology? Are there new ways of looking at cosmological datasets that could be useful when confronting theories with data? Can computer simulations of the very early universe shed light on it's possible initial conditions and evolution?
  • Graduate Program Director in Physics and Astronomy, York University, 2020-2023
  • Associate Professor, York University, 2017-present
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Waterloo, 2012-present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 2010-2012
  • Moore Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2007-2010
  • Discovery Grant, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), 2021
  • Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics Program, UK Research and Innovation, 2021
  • Buchalter Cosmology Prize, 3rd Place, Dr. Ari Buchalter, 2019
  • Faculty of Science Early Career Research Award, York University, 2015
  • Buchalter Cosmology Prize, 3rd Place, Buchalter Cosmology Prize, Dr. Ari Buchalter, 2014
  • Jenkins, A. C., Braden, J., Peiris, H. V., Pontzen, A., Johnson, M. C., & Weinfurtner, S. (2024). Analog vacuum decay from vacuum initial conditions. Physical Review D, 109(2), 023506. doi:10.1103/physrevd.109.023506
  • Pîrvu, D., Huang, J., & Johnson, M. C. (2024). Patchy screening of the CMB from dark photons. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2024(01), 019. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2024/01/019
  • Wons, J., Dimastrogiovanni, E., Fasiello, M., Hamann, J., & Johnson, M. C. (2023). Enhancing bispectrum estimators for galaxy redshift surveys with velocities. Physical Review D, 108(2), l021305. doi:10.1103/physrevd.108.l021305
  • Hotinli, S. C., Ferraro, S., Holder, G. P., Johnson, M. C., Kamionkowski, M., & La Plante, P. (2023). Probing helium reionization with kinetic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich tomography. Physical Review D, 107(10), 103517. doi:10.1103/physrevd.107.103517
  • Braden, J., Johnson, M. C., Peiris, H. V., Pontzen, A., & Weinfurtner, S. (2023). Mass renormalization in lattice simulations of false vacuum decay. Physical Review D, 107(8), 083509. doi:10.1103/physrevd.107.083509
  • Cayuso, J., Bloch, R., Hotinli, S. C., Johnson, M. C., & McCarthy, F. (2023). Velocity reconstruction with the cosmic microwave background and galaxy surveys. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2023(02), 051. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2023/02/051
  • Contreras, D., McCarthy, F., & Johnson, M. C. (2023). Maximum likelihood kinetic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich velocity reconstruction. Physical Review D, 107(2), 023521. doi:10.1103/physrevd.107.023521
  • Philcox, O. H. E., & Johnson, M. C. (2022). Novel cosmological tests from combining galaxy lensing and the polarized Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect. Physical Review D, 106(8), 083501. doi:10.1103/physrevd.106.083501
  • Hotinli, S. C., Holder, G. P., Johnson, M. C., & Kamionkowski, M. (2022). Cosmology from the kinetic polarized Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2022(10), 026. doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2022/10/026
  • Braden, J., Johnson, M. C., Peiris, H. V., Pontzen, A., & Weinfurtner, S. (2022). Erratum: New Semiclassical Picture of Vacuum Decay [Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 031601 (2019)]. Physical Review Letters, 129(5), 059901. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.129.059901
  • Hotinli, S. C., & Johnson, M. C. (2022). Reconstructing large scales at cosmic dawn. Physical Review D, 105(6), 063522. doi:10.1103/physrevd.105.063522
  • Pîrvu, D., Braden, J., & Johnson, M. C. (2022). Bubble clustering in cosmological first order phase transitions. Physical Review D, 105(4), 043510. doi:10.1103/physrevd.105.043510
  • Zhang, J., Lyu, Z., Huang, J., Johnson, M. C., Sagunski, L., Sakellariadou, M., & Yang, H. (2021). First Constraints on Nuclear Coupling of Axionlike Particles from the Binary Neutron Star Gravitational Wave Event GW170817. Physical Review Letters, 127(16), 161101. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.127.161101
  • Corman, M., East, W. E., & Johnson, M. C. (2021). Nonlinear dynamics of flux compactification. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2021(9), 21. doi:10.1007/jhep09(2021)021
  • Hotinli, S. C., Johnson, M. C., & Meyers, J. (2021). Optimal filters for the moving lens effect. Physical Review D, 103(4), 043536. doi:10.1103/physrevd.103.043536
  • Johnson, M. C., Paranjape, M. B., Savard, A., & Tapia-Arellano, N. (2021). Stable, Thin Wall, Negative Mass Bubbles in de Sitter Space-Time. In Quantum Theory and Symmetries (pp. 475-479). Springer Nature. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-55777-5_44
  • Quantum simulations/computing, SciComm Collider 2, 2024/05/08, PIRSA:24050064
  • Panel Discussion: Open Questions in Early Universe, Quantum Simulators of Fundamental Physics, 2023/06/06, PIRSA:23060011
  • Experimental Cosmology, Quantum Spacetime in the Cosmos: From Conception to Reality, 2023/05/09, PIRSA:23050114
  • Cosmology, Scicomm Collider, 2023/04/13, PIRSA:23040098
  • Cosmology with the Secondary CMB, Sharif University of Technology, Physics, ?, Tehran, ?, ?, Iran, 2023/02/20
  • Early Universe cosmology with the Sunyaev Zel"dovich effect, Sunyaev-Zel"dovich Science in the 2020s: Connecting Theory, Simulations, and Observations workshop, CCA, 2022/01/01
  • Cosmology with the secondary CMB, Sharif University Cosmology Seminar, Sharif University, 2022/01/01
  • Welcome to Day 2, Postdoc Welcome 2021, 2021/10/29, PIRSA:21100039
  • Welcome and Opening Remarks, Postdoc Welcome 2021, 2021/10/28, PIRSA:21100030