Earlham College | A national liberal arts college in the Midwest
COVID-19 news, plans and updates | READ MORE
Skip to Content
John Howell
Research Professor Emeritus of Physics

Contact Info



  • Physics and Astronomy


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

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.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.