Richard Arnowitt

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Richard Arnowitt
RicardArnowitt2009 02.jpg
Born (1928-05-03) May 3, 1928 (age 85)
New York City, New York
Residence College Station, Texas
Citizenship USA
Fields Theoretical physics
Institutions Texas A&M University
Alma mater Harvard University (Ph.D. 1953)
Known for Supergravity
ADM formalism
Notable awards Guggenheim Fellow (75-6), Dannie Heineman Prize (94)

Richard Lewis Arnowitt is an American physicist known for his contributions to theoretical particle physics and to general relativity.

Arnowitt is a Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) at Texas A&M University, where he is a member of the Department of Physics.

His current research interests are centered on supersymmetry and supergravity, from phenomenology (namely how to find evidence for supersymmetry at current and planned particle accelerators or in the guise of dark matter) to more theoretical questions of string and M theory.[1]

In the context of general relativity, he is best known for his development (with Stanley Deser and Charles Misner) of the ADM formalism, roughly speaking a way of describing spacetime as space evolving in time, which allows a recasting of Einstein's theory in terms of a more general formalism used in physics to describe dynamical systems, namely the Hamiltonian formalism. In the framework of that formalism, there is also a straightforward way to globally define quantities like energy or, equivalently, mass (so-called ADM mass/energy) which, in general relativity, is not trivial at all.

Arnowitt is also known for his work (with Ali Chamseddine and Pran Nath) which developed the theory of supergravity grand unification (with gravity mediated breaking). This work allowed for the unification of the three forces of microscopic physics at a very high mass scale (a result subsequently indirectly verified at the CERN LEP accelerator). The simplest version, called mSUGRA, is now commonly used to search for new physics at high energy accelerators. In addition, Arnowitt's work (with Marvin Girardeau) on many body theory of liquid Helium has stimulated many applications in that field.


  1. ^ Arnowitt's homepage at Texas A&M

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