John Howell
Professor Emeritus of Physics; Senior Physicist

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 76



203 Center for Science and Technology

Office Hours
Mondays 2:30-4, Fridays 1:30-4, and by appointment


  • Physics and Astronomy


  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • M.A., Harvard University
  • B.A., Harvard University

Selected Courses:

I'm retired as of the end of 2013.

Particular interests include Einstein's theories of Relativity (both special and general), the physics of music, and Science Fiction

Phi Beta Kappa

Sigma Pi Sigma

American Association of Physics Teachers

I was attracted to Earlham by the high caliber of its students and its emphasis on teaching over research.  Since coming here, I've learned to value it for its principles and its sense of community.

Along with Chris Swafford, I helped lead several May Term courses to Menorca, a beautiful Spanish island in the Mediterranean, northwest of its larger and more libertine sibling, Majorca. The program was ecological in nature, studying various aspects of Menorca's efforts to be sustainable at the same time it's developing its tourist industry — water and beach conservation, recycling, wind power, etc. This May Term was both beautiful and life-changing.

My non-academic interests include singing, birding, travel and learning languages. While at Earlham I've studied both Spanish and Swahili, and am now taking Chinese; both the characters and the tones are proving a fun challenge.

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