Advisory Board

Dr. Arlie O. Petters

The New Scientist article Satellite could open door on extra dimension said

An exotic theory, which attempts to unify the laws of physics by proposing the existence of an extra fourth spatial dimension, could be tested using a satellite to be launched in 2007.
 
Such theories are notoriously difficult to test. But a new study suggests that such hidden dimensions could give rise to thousands of mini-black holes within our own solar system — and the theory could be tested within Pluto’s orbit in just a few years…
 
Now, Keeton and colleague Arlie Petters at Duke University in North Carolina, US, have calculated how many of these tiny black holes should exist — and how they might be detected according to an offshoot of string theory.
 
The theory they use, called the Randall-Sundrum braneworld model, proposes that the 3D universe we live in is floating within a larger universe with an extra spatial dimension.

The PhysOrg.com article Scientists Predict How to Detect a Fourth Dimension of Space said

Scientists at Duke and Rutgers universities have developed a mathematical framework they say will enable astronomers to test a new five-dimensional theory of gravity that competes with Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
 
Charles R. Keeton of Rutgers and Arlie O. Petters of Duke base their work on a recent theory called the type II Randall-Sundrum braneworld gravity model. The theory holds that the visible universe is a membrane (hence “braneworld”) embedded within a larger universe, much like a strand of filmy seaweed floating in the ocean. The “braneworld universe” has five dimensions — four spatial dimensions plus time — compared with the four dimensions — three spatial, plus time — laid out in the General Theory of Relativity.
 
The framework Keeton and Petters developed predicts certain cosmological effects that, if observed, should help scientists validate the braneworld theory. The observations, they said, should be possible with satellites scheduled to launch in the next few years.

Dr. Arlie O. Petters is President and Founder of the Petters Research Institute, Belize, and is Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Duke University. Born and raised in Dangriga, Belize, he emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1979, where he has had a stellar academic career including having been on the faculty at MIT and Princeton University, and a visiting professor at Harvard University, Oxford University, and The Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM), and on the Board of Governors of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).
 
Arlie earned his B.A. and M.A. in Mathematics and Physics from Hunter College in 1986 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1991 and was the first to develop the mathematical theory of gravitational lensing. He also pioneered applications of gravitational lensing in physics, predicting effects that probe the nature of spacetime around black holes. He has received numerous awards for his research, including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Career Award, and the first Blackwell-Tapia Prize in the Mathematical Sciences. In addition, the National Academy of Sciences honored him by inducting him in 2006 into its Portrait Collection of Distinguished African American Scientists. His portrait is on permanent display at the National Academies Keck Center in Washington, DC.
 
He coauthored the book Singularity Theory and Gravitational Lensing, and the papers Formalism for testing theories of gravity using lensing by compact objects. III: Braneworld gravity in Physical Review D, Wavefront Singularities due to an Elliptical Potential and Center of Light Curves for Whitney Fold and Cusp in Proceedings of the Ninth Marcel Grossmann Meeting on General Relativity, and Properties of Point Mass Lenses On A Regular Polygon and The Problem of Maximum Number of Images in Proceedings of the Eighth Marcel Grossmann Meeting on General Relativity. Read the full list of his publications!
 
Read Arlie’s interview in the New York Times. Read his interview by Dennis Meredith. Watch his lecture on Gravitational lensing: Universal properties and applications given at the 2002 Blackwell-Tapia Conference at Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI).