Des Johnston
Department of Mathematics
Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS

Email: D.A.Johnston -at-
Office: CMS.04
Phone: +44 (0)131 4513255
Fax: +44 (0)131 4513249

Once upon a time I had a nicer looking page but then all the style sheets got broken, so this is just an ugly page of lists on a pale grey background. However, you are a click away from a (slightly) better typeset Academic CV.

Current Interests: First order phase transitions
    To some extent first-order phase transitions, that is transitions where there are discontinuities (latent heat and jumps in density or volume) have been the poor cousins of continuous transitions (where there are no such jumps) when it comes to numerical investigations, in spite of their prevalence in nature. There are various reasons for this - they are harder to simulate, for instance, and there appear to be fewer distinct quantities to measure for the first order transitions compared with continuous transitions.

    My recent research work has concentrated on several aspects of such first order transitions. Along with Marco Mueller and Wolfhard Janke of Leipzig University I have investigated non-standard scaling behaviour at first order transitions when the low temperature phases are highly degenerate. As luck would have it, an old favorite of mine - the Gonihedric Ising model - provides an example of this.

    In collaboration with colleagues at Coventry University and a visitor from Sri Lanka, R.P.K.C.M. Ranasinghe, we also investigated the phase transitions of Potts models with so-called invisible states, which display unexpected first order transitions, clarifying why they occur.
(Fairly) recent papers:

(Fairly) Recent Research Talks/Posters

Heriot-Watt Taught courses:
Maths Masterclass (schools talk):
AIMS Ghana course:
AIMS South Africa course:
AIMS Senegal course:
  • March/April 2017: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing

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