One of the most surprising predictions made by Einstein's theory of relativity is that light doesn't travel through the universe in a straight line. The gravitational field of massive objects will deflect the path of light traveling past, giving some very dramatic effects. We see multiple images of quasars, galaxies smeared into arcs and circles and magnified images of the most distant objects in the universe. This talk will explain how gravitational lensing was first observed and discuss how scientists use this phenomenon to study everything from exoplanets to dark matter to the structure of the universe and the mysterious dark energy.
Debbie Bard is a researcher at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where she works on science preparation for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Debbie Bard earned her master’s degree in physics from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and a PhD in particle physics from the University of Edinburgh.
For more information please visit http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/lectures/