GravItational Lensing of Quasars

1st Edition

Alexander Eigenbrod

EPFL Press
Published December 14, 2011
Reference - 152 Pages
ISBN 9781439873540 - CAT# N10366

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The universe, in all its richness, diversity and complexity, is populated by a myriad of intriguing celestial objects. Among the most exotic of them are gravitationally lensed quasars. A quasar is an extremely bright nucleus of a galaxy, and when such an object is gravitationally lensed, multiple images of the quasar are produced – this phenomenon of cosmic mirage can provide invaluable insights on burning questions, such as the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

After presenting the basics of modern cosmology, GravItational Lensing of Quasars describes active galactic nuclei, the theory of gravitational lensing, and presents a particular numerical technique to improve the resolution of astronomical data. The book then enters the heart of the subject with the description of important applica- tions of gravitational lensing of quasars, such as the measurement of the famous Hubble constant, the determination of the dark matter distribution in galaxies, and the observation of the mysterious inner parts of quasars with much higher resolutions than those accessible with the largest telescopes. This book gives an overview of the current status of research in the field of gravitationally lensed quasars. It also gives some insights about the way this research is conducted in practice, and presents real data and results obtained with several high-technology instruments of the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory.