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EA: Virtual Workshop -Gravitational Lensing: from Planets to the Large Scale Structure of the Universe – Makler et al.

April 20, 2022 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

During the 21st century, gravitational lensing turned from a curious relativistic effect used by some cosmologists into a mainstream astrophysical tool. Each year we witness new discoveries exploring the different regimes of lensing, from planets in our galaxy to individual stars in high redshift galaxies, from the tiny distortions produced by the Large Scale Structure of the Universe to multiple images, arcs and Einstein rings. Gravitational lensing has proven to be an effective tool to probe the mass distribution in a surprising range of physical scales, in particular enabling us to “see” dark structures. It is also sensitive to the Dark Energy and unique for probing modifications of general relativity. The “gravitational telescope” effect has enabled the study of distant galaxies that would otherwise not be possible with the current instruments. Nowadays, most major astrophysical surveys have lensing as one of their main science drivers or at least has impacts on this science. For example, missions as diverse as Gaia, Kepler and Spitzer had important implications for gravitational lensing, whereas the Dark Energy Survey, the Kilo-Degree Survey and Hyper Suprime Cam were specially designed to probe this phenomenon. In particular, upcoming missions such as the Vera Rubin Telescope Legacy Survey of Space and Time and the Roman and Euclid space telescopes will allow us to explore at the same time the three most common regimes of gravitational lensing: weak, strong and micro-lensing.

In this mini-workshop we aim to provide a basic introduction to gravitational lensing and its main consequences, exploring in an interactive way some specific examples of applications. The workshop will be divided into four sessions: a general introduction to lensing followed by each of the three main regimes. In each case, we will explore practical examples and use simple code to illustrate the results. We will also use publicly available software to carry out more complex applications. The worked examples will be organized as python notebooks that can be run by the participants in real-time. Therefore, we expect at the same time to cover some theory and background and provide a hands-on experience on specific applications.

Workshop facilitators: Martin Makler (organizer), Renan Alves, João França, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Eduardo Valadão, Anibal Varela,

Minimum requirements: Undergraduate level of physics and mathematics should be enough to follow the mini-workshop. Basic knowledge of python is desired, but not required. Undergraduate knowledge of astronomy is also useful, but not mandatory.

Other information: Participation will be possible in person (preferred, whenever possible) and remotely. If participants are able to bring their own computers, they will have a more interactive experience, though this is not a requirement.


April 20, 2022
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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