SLAC Public Lecture Series
The Dark Universe Through Einstein's Lens
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.