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Leiden Observatory

SACKLER LECTURE 2016


Speaker:


Prof. Sarah Bridle

University of Manchester


Sarah Bridle is Professor of Astrophysics in the Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology research group of the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester. She is a world expert on measuring and interpreting the ‘weak gravitational lensing’ effect, a subtle distortion of the light from distant galaxies due to intervening mass distributions. She is co-coordinator of the Weak Lensing Science Working Group of the Dark Energy Survey, and project scientist for the UK consortium in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

In addition to her work on cosmology, Prof. Bridle is also developing ways in which image processing and data science expertise in cosmology can be applied to Earth observation studies, in particular in relation to sustainable food production.



Title:

"Quantifying Dark Energy using Cosmic Lensing"



Abstract


I will describe the great potential and possible limitations of using the bending of light by gravity (gravitational lensing) to constrain the mysterious dark energy which seems to dominate the contents of our Universe. In particular we have to remove the blurring effects of telescopes and the atmosphere to extreme precision, and account for possibly coherent distortions of galaxy shapes due to processes in galaxy formation. I will discuss these issues in more detail and review some recent progress in tackling them, including in the context of recent results from the Dark Energy Survey. 









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