Retired Minnesota State University Moorhead physics professor Dennis Jacobs has a theory that he hopes will better explain the mathematics behind flight — and he wants you to hear about it.
The Rochert resident will be presenting a talk at the Detroit Lakes-Becker County Airport on Monday, June 14, at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Jacobs, whose father was a pilot, first learned how to fly after returning from an assignment with the Peace Corps in the late 1960s.
"My dad looked at me and said, 'Let's go get you a license'," Jacobs recalled.
So he spent the next few months learning all of the skills necessary to get his pilot's license, which he has maintained ever since.
"I've been flying planes for about 50 years now, on and off," Jacobs said.
Though he loves flying, Jacobs is not a pilot by trade, however: Up until about seven years ago, he was a professor of physics, astronomy and energy at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he now holds the title of faculty emeritus.
While he is retired from MSUM, Jacobs is still an active member of the Detroit Lakes Experimental Aircraft Association, which he helped to establish about 20 years ago.
And it is to that group that he plans to present a new theory about the mathematics behind flight, which he developed with another current MSUM professor, Steve Lindaas.
"We hope to get it published in a physics or technology journal this winter," Jacobs said.
Even if it does get published, however, Jacobs says that he expects the theory to be tested and contested for years to come.
"We're hoping some students will take an interest in our theory, and either prove or disprove it," he added.
His hope, Jacobs said, is that the theory will eventually help designers to develop more efficient aircraft.