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Natural Sciences

How can humans understand the natural world? What is really there? How does it move? What are matter, energy, space, time, and light? What is life and how does it evolve? At St. John’s, students study physics, biology, and chemistry through books and experiments that help them face these difficult, basic questions and to see how they might be answered. The program ranges widely to explore quantum physics, relativity, and contemporary molecular biology.

NOTE

The natural sciences are a few of the many subjects studied in the college’s interdisciplinary great books curriculum. There are no majors at St. John’s. Instead, students explore all these subjects over the course of all four years. Learn more about St. John’s classes.

Books and More

Apollonius Conics

Archimedes Essays

Niels Bohr Essays

Nicolaus Copernicus On the Revolutions of the Spheres

René Descartes Geometry, Meditations, Rules for the Direction of the Mind

Euclid Elements

Leonhard Euler Essays

Galileo Two New Sciences

Maxwell Essays

Robert Millikan Essays

Isaac Newton Principia

Blaise Pascal Generation of Conic Sections

Ptolemy Almagest

Ernest Rutherford Essays

Erwin Schrödinger Essays

J. J. Thomson Essays

René Descartes Scientific Revolution

Albert Einstein

Gottlob Frege The Foundations of Arithmetic

Jacob Klein Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra

Ernst Mach The Science of Mechanics

C. S. Peirce Selected papers

Bertrand Russell An Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

Alan Turing “On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem”

Action in Classical and Modern Physics, from Leibniz to Feynman

Computing

The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

Meter and Form in English Poetry

Quantum Phenomena

Readings in the Origins of Algebra

Plato

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Computer Programming

Math

Microbiology

Quantum Mechanics

Erwin Schrodinger’s What Is Life? and Richard Feynman’s QED

The information presented is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect the current reading list and preceptorial and study group offerings. Works listed are studied at one or both campuses, although not always in their entirety.

Senior Essay

Turning the World Inside-Out: Why the Newtonian Theory of Planetary Motion Supersedes the Ptolemaic

U.S. Naval Observatory

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

Chaos and Quanta: Two New Hypotheses in Max Plank’s Theory of Heat Radiation

Environmental Club

Student Group

The St. John’s Environmental Club is devoted to creating awareness on campus about issues relating to protection, conservation, preservation, and restoration—with an emphasis on educating and empowering students.

University of Maryland, Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Anne Arundel Medical Center

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Sustainability

Student Group

Senior Essay

Structures of Mathematical Thought: An Essay on Kant’s Philosophy of the Mathematical Mind

Senior Essay

The Role of Beauty in Science as Seen in the Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen Paper and Responses to it Within the Context of Quantum Theory

Windward Education and Research Center

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

City of Hope, Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

The Concept of Mass in Newton’s Principia

Dutton Road Veterinary Clinic

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

Beyond the Flaming Ramparts: Dirac’s Symbolic Method

University of Pittsburgh Neurological Surgery Dept. Hillman Cancer Center

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

In Search of the Absolute—How Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Hammer Came Down on Relativity

George Mason University School of Physics Astronomy & Computational Sciences

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

Michael Faraday Describes Magnetism Heuristically

Senior Essay

The Probability Function in Quantum Mechanics: A Formal Cause Beyond Space and Time

Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Tufts University, Advanced Integrated Circuits & Systems Lab

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.

Senior Essay

God’s Great Mathematical Waltz

Senior Essay

On the Paradox of Quantum Theory

Senior Essay

Geometry and Necessity

University of Maryland, Department of Physics, Physics Education Research Group

Internships

The Hodson and Ariel Internship Programs support Johnnies who want to pursue internships that would otherwise be unpaid.