Application of a New, Relativistic Gravitational Lensing Technique to RXJ1347-1145

Document Type


Date Accepted

Summer 2004

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 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. However, these new approaches have not been applied to lensing systems of current astrophysical interest. The proposed CART Summer Grant will provide support for the application of relativistic techniques to RXJ1347-1145, a cluster of 50 or more galaxies that has been the study of numerous X-ray satellite and Hubble Space Telescope observations.

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