John McClain

Department Chair, Chemistry & Physical Sciences Department


Department

Physics

Additional Title

Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences

Courses Taught

ENVR 1101 - Intro to Environmental Science Lab

  • This laboratory based course accompanies ENVR 1301 Environmental Science (lecture). Activities will cover methods used to collect and analyze environmental data.

ENVR 1301 -  Intro to Environmental Science

  • A survey of the dynamics, including humans, that shape our physical and biologic environment, and how they affect life on Earth. Introduction to the science and policy of global and regional environmental issues, including pollution, climate change, and sustainability of land, water, and energy resources. (Cross-listed as GEOL 1305 Environmental Science)

Physics 1103 - Stars and Galaxies Lab

  • This course is designed to complement PHYS 1303 Study of stars, galaxies, and the universe outside our solar system.The course consists of an observational approach to what can be found and measured in the universe outside of our solar system. Students will be involved in taking observations, performing simulations, data analysis, and preparation of written reports. Binoculars, different types of telescopes and other instrumentation will be used. (Cross-listed as ASTR 1103).

Physics 1104 - Solar System Lab

  • This course is designed to complement PHYS 1304. Study of the sun and its solar sysem, including its origin. This course consists of an observational approach to what can be found and measured in our solar system. Students will be involved in taking observations, performing simulations, data collection and analysis, and the preparation of written reports. Binoculars, different types of telescopes and other instrumentation will be used. Cross-listed as ASTR 1304.

Physics 1303 - Stars and Galaxies

  • This course is based on the study of stars, galaxies, and the universe outside of our solar system. Mastery of this course will give the student a good understanding of how our universe is structured and its progression. Cross-listed as ASTR 1303.

Physics 1304 - Solar System

  • The course is based on the study of our sun, the planets within our solar system and other cosmic entities. The origin of the solar system will also be investigated. Cross-listed as ASTR 1304.

Physics 1401 - College Phyics I

  • Fundamental principles of physics, using algebra and trigonometry; the principles and applications of classical mechanics and thermodynamics, including harmonic motion, mechanical waves and sound, physical systems, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and gravitation and other fundamental forces; with emphasis on problem solving. Laboratory activities will reinforce fundamental principles of physics taught in the lecture.

Physics 1402 - College Physics II

  • Fundamental principles of physics, using algebra and trigonometry; the principles and applications of electricity and magnetism, including circuits, electrostatics, electromagnetism, waves, sound, light, optics, and modern physics topics; with emphasis on problem solving. Laboratory activities will reinforce fundamental principles of physics, using algebra and trigonometry; the principles and applications of electricity and magnetism, including circuits, electrostatics, electromagnetism, waves, sound, light, optics, and modern physics topics; with emphasis on problem solving. Laboratory portion is integrated with lecture portion..

Physics 1405 - Elementary Physics I

  • Conceptual level survey of topics in physics intended for liberal arts and other non-science majors. The student will be introduced to the principles of mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound and other related topics. 

Physics 1407 - Elementary Physics II

Conceptual level survey of topics in physics intended for liberal arts and other non-science majors. This is the second course physics and is a continuation of PHYS 1405, but does not require PHYS 1405 as a prerequisite. The student will be introduced to the principles of sound, electricity, magnetism, light, atomic and nuclear physics, relativity, astrophysics and other related topics.

Physics 2389 - Special Topics

  • Independent study on a variety of subjects including astronomy/astrophysics and physics/science education.

Physics 2425 - University Physics I

  • Fundamental principles of physics, using calculus, for science, computer science, and engineering majors; the principles and applications of classical mechanics, including harmonic motion, physical systems and thermodynamics; and emphasis on problem solving. Basic laboratory experiments supporting theoretical principles presented in lecture involving the principles and applications of classical mechanics, including harmonic motion and physical systems; experimental design, data collection and analysis, and preparation of laboratory reports. This laboratory is integrated with the lecture.

Physics 2426 - University Physics II

  • Principles of physics for science, computer science, and engineering majors, using calculus, involving the principles of electricity and magnetism, including circuits, electromagnetism, waves, sound, light, and optics.
Education
A.A. Natural Science
  • with honors
  • Pi Theta Kappa
  • May 1976
  • College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX
B.S. Physics
  • Pi Mu Epsilon,
  • Sigma Pi Sigma
  • May 1977
  • Sam Houston State University

M.S. Physics
  • Experimental Low Temperature Physics
  • May 1980
  • Texas A&M University
Ph.D. Physics
  • Theoretical Nuclear Physics
  • May 1990
  • Texas A&M University
Teaching Experience
Temple College Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences
  • Sep., 2009 – present
  • Professor of Physics/Astronomy
  • Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences
  • NASA/JSC Aerospace Scholars Point of Contact
University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Department of Mathematics
  • Sep., 2013 – May, 2015
  • Adjunct Professor of Physics
LeTourneau University School of Arts and Sciences,
LeTourneau University School of Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Jan., 2006 – Aug., 2009
  • Adjunct Professor
Panola College Division of Mathematics, Sciences, and Business
  • Sep., 2004 – Aug., 2009
  • Instructor of Mathematics and Physics 
Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Sep., 2003 – Aug., 2004
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
Texas A&M University Department of Computer Science
  • Jan., 2001 – Aug., 2003
  • Senior Lecturer (Joint Appointment)
Blinn College Division of Mathematics and Engineering
  • Aug., 1990 – Aug., 2003
  • Part Time Faculty
 
Professional Experience
 Texas A&M University Department of Computer Science
  • Jan., 2001 – Aug., 2003
  • Computer Systems Manager
Texas A&M University Department of Physics
  • Aug., 1997 – Dec., 2000
  • Senior Systems Analyst I
Texas A&M University Computing and Information Services
  • Training Center, New Technology Training Team
  • Oct., 1996 – Aug., 1997
  • Senior Systems Analyst I, Team Leader
Texas A&M University Computing and Information Services
  • Sep., 1993 – Sep., 1996
  • Senior Systems Analyst I,
  • Systems Project, Electronic Information Team
Texas A&M University Computing and Information Services
  • Sep., 1992 – Aug., 1993
  • Senior Systems Analyst I
  • Customer Help and Training
Texas A&M University Academic Computing Services
  • Sep., 1989 – Aug., 1992
  • Senior Systems Analyst I, User Services Coordinator
Professional Publications
Data collected on various asteroid occultations including:
  • Hohensteina
  • Armida
  • Camilla
  • Patientia
Mastering Physics educator study reports on the success of using different assignments

https://www.pearsoned.com/results/mastering-physics-temple-college/

 A dearth of small particles in the transiting material around the white dwarf WD 1145+017

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 474, Issue 4, March 2018, Pages 4795–4809, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx3023

Professional Presentations
Central Texas Astronomical Society
  • Various star party presentations
  • The Evidence for Dark Matter and Dark Energy - 8/20/17
  • Asteroids: What the Dinosaurs Wish They Knew - 6/17/17
  • The Lunar Expeditions: A Brief Synopsis - 8/20/16
  • The Hunt for Life in the Solar System - 6/18/16
  • Observing Opportunities with the Astronomical League - 1/26/16
  • Hew Horizons: The Mission and Its Accomplishments - 9/12/15
  • Comparative Planetary Meteorology - 7/18/15
  • Comparative Planetary Geology - 6/20/15
Awards
Research Interests

Science Education

White Dwarfs

Asteroids