Porter W. Johnson

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

BS: Case Institute of Technology
PhD: Princeton University
office:    BCPS Department
Room 296 Life Sciences Building
tel: 1 - 312 - 567-3480
e-mail: Porter.Johnson@iit.edu

Professional Interests

I retired from the faculty of Illinois Institute of Technology in 2008, having been a physics faculty member there continuously since 1969. I remain professionally active, attending colloquia regularly.

I have recently developed a textbook for a one semester course in classical mechanics, for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students.  It has just been published by World Scientific (Singapore). The title of the book is

Classical Mechanics with Applications.

For a list of Section headings within chapters, click here.

This book contains over 150 exercises, with methods of solutions briefly outlined.  For a list of these exercises, click here.  My reasons for preparing this textbook, as well as some commentary on my personal "educational philosophy", is given here.

For additional information see the following website: http://www.worldscibooks.com/physics/7704.html

I have an avid interest in The Physics of Baseball and have spoken frequently to groups of students and high school teachers on this subject. In addition, I have appeared frequently on radio and television programs, and have provided background information for newspapers. My interest and involvement in this arena continues into retirement.

From 1993 - 2006,  I was the co-director of the SMILE [Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement] program at IIT, working with Ken Schug [Professor of Chemistry], Ben Stark [Professor of Biology], and Earl Zwicker [Professor Emeritus of Physics]. The SMILE program  operated from 1986 to 2006.  Its mission has been to encourage teachers to bring interactive experiences into the classroom to enhance student understanding and appreciation of mathematics and science. There wais an academic year program in which elementary and high school teachers attend bi-weekly meetings, as well as an intensive summer program.  The SMILE website is being maintained. 

In Summer 2000 I became co-director of the SMART [Science and Mathematics through Application of Relevant Technology] program, in which teachers learn to develop interactive web-based lessons in mathematics and science.  This program operated during the summer and the academic year for the period 2000 - 2004. The SMART website is being maintained.

I served as Interim Chair of the newly created  Department of Mathematics and Science Education during the 2000-2001 academic year

My research interests in traditional high energy theoretical physics most recently involved dynamical mass generation in formally massless quantum field theories. Over the years I have collaborated continually with Professor David Atkinson who is now a retired faculty member of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen [Rijksuniversiteit te Groningen], in the Netherlands.

We recently begin a collaboration on Classical Zeno Balls, an interdisciplinary subject involving both essential philosophy and classical mechanics.  We have published two papers on this subject:

By clicking on the appropriate item, you may go to these documents:




Materials for Previously Taught Courses

Personal / Hobbies

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