Non-Perturbative Gravitational Lensing by Three Dimensional Mass Models

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2005

Project Description/Abstract

Gravitational lensing is the bending and distortion of light rays by the gravitational pull of massive objects in the universe. Lensing studies are significant to the current revolution in modern astrophysics through which the ultimate questions of the universe – how did the universe begin and what conditions permit life to develop – are being answered. Although the distortion of light by gravity is a central prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the techniques used in current observational studies are based on non-relativistic principles. Recent research has shown that these non-relativistic techniques can be replaced by techniques based on Einstein’s theory. These new “non-perturbative” approaches have been studied in specialized cases only. The purpose of this project is to apply the non-perturbative tools to two mass models commonly used in observational studies of galaxy clusters. This new research will help determine the feasibility of using non-perturbative approaches to study observational data.

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