Math Shapes: Arlie Petters
Arlie Petters studies the shapes that occur when the light rays from a
star are bent by the gravity of massive objects. The name for this
effect is "Gravitational Lensing". This phenomenon has many interesting
manifestations. For example:
- Multiple imaging: more than one image of the same star can reach an
- Magnification: distant images can be magnified, making it possible to
see stellar objects which would otherwise be too faint
- Detection of dark matter: if lensing effects are detected, and no
lensing object is detected, this is evidence for the presence of "dark
Here is further information about the work and the
Prof. Arlie Petters.
There is a
Scientific American article describing gravitational lensing, and
additional material at this location.
For a technical article that includes background, see this site at
the University of Colorado.
Here is a report on a lecture about gravitational lensing at MIRA, the
Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy.
Other good lensing sites are from
The University of British Columbia, and
Here is a good demonstration
of the phenomenon of gravitational lensing from the Czech Republic
which includes a large bibliograph of other websites treating