Experts on "Physical Science"

John A. Bloom

  • Chair, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering
  • Director, Science and Religion Program
  • Professor of Physics

John Bloom’s interests center on physics and the integration of science and Christianity. At the undergraduate level he regularly teaches the algebra-based Physics I and Physics II sequence, the First-Year Seminar and the Senior Capstone Seminar for department majors. Bloom has a passion for critical thinking, problem solving, and using hands-on lab experiments to help students gain an intuitive sense for physics concepts. Bloom seeks to bring greater theological and historical depth to biblical integration in teaching the Biblical Studies Department’s integration seminar: Christianity and the Natural Sciences.

At the graduate level he teaches Modern Physics, Cosmology and Design, and Advanced Seminar in Intelligent Design for the Master of Arts – Science and Religion and Scientific Apologetics for the Master of Arts – Christian Apologetics. He is the author of The Natural Sciences: A Student’s Guide, which surveys the relationship between Christianity and science, and demonstrates how God’s glory is clearly seen through the discoveries of science.

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Jonah Chang

  • Assistant Professor

Jonah Chang’s teaching interests are in the area of chemistry; specifically in organic chemistry and biochemistry. He teaches a variety of courses to chemistry and biochemistry majors including General Chemistry I, Organic Chemistry I, Advanced Organic Chemistry and Laboratory, Biochemistry II, and Laboratory in Biochemistry. Recently, he has designed a project-based learning module in Advanced Organic Chemistry for students to develop an original proposal for a target molecule, which the students then attempt to carry out in Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory. He integrates his faith into his teaching most specifically when contrasting the intricate molecules and biochemical pathways found in nature against the state-of-the-art methods of the modern organic chemist.

Chang's research interests focus on the chemical synthesis of biologically active and structurally complex secondary metabolites.  The role of these molecules in the parent organism is often unknown, but they are interesting because they often inhibit targets associated with human diseases. In the process of executing a multi-step synthesis, new chemical methods are often discovered and can be elaborated into a synthetic methodology. Students in Chang's lab are trained in classical synthetic chemistry techniques including oxygen and water-free manipulations, flash chromatography for purification, and characterization of molecules using spectroscopy. Chang conducted post-doctoral research at the University of California, Irvine.

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Eric Hedin

  • Professor of Physics & Astronomy
  • Vice Chair for the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering

Eric Hedin’s passion in teaching explores the topics of physics and astronomy in a way that highlights the harmony and design of nature. The laws of physics work together in remarkable concert to provide a universe that not only allows the existence of life, but also invites discovery of the hidden wisdom of its Creator. With more than 20 years of teaching experience in public and Christian higher education, Hedin desires to engage students with the wonder and satisfaction of understanding the depths and boundaries of science.

Hedin has engaged students in research projects ranging from nanoscience to cosmology, and fusion energy to wind power. As a physicist, opportunities to mentor student research and independent study span the spectrum of the realm of nature. Hedin’s primary focus of ongoing research is within the field of computational nano-electronics. Additional areas of research experience include higher-dimensional physics, fusion plasma physics, integrated optics, and wind power feasibility studies. Hedin has published his research work in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters.

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Mark Pichaj

  • Assistant Professor of Physical Science

Mark Pichaj has taught general education courses to non-science majors, introductory chemistry and chemistry labs to science majors, and science education to prospective science teachers here at Biola since 2000. Pichaj regularly teaches Physical Science Survey and Lab, Physics in Everyday Life, Chemistry of Everyday Life and some sections of Introduction to Chemistry. His teaching interests include science pedagogy, especially using demonstrations in formal and informal science education, and safety in the chemical laboratory. He is also interested in the history and philosophy of science, integrating the study of science with our Christian faith, teaching about the material world as God’s creative handiwork, and learning how to teach the natural sciences without teaching naturalism, materialism and scientism, as well. As he teaches, he endeavors to give students the historical background of significant scientific discoveries, and is quick to point out “the fingerprints of God” and evidence for design in the natural world. Pichaj’s goal is to show students that the physical sciences have an intrinsic beauty and are worthy of our study for their own sake, for the sake of our neighbor, and to aid us in worshipping the Creator more fully. He contributed the article “Teaching Science” to the Zondervan Dictionary of Christianity and Science, (2017).

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