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HEP Seminar: New Applications of Gravitational Lensing

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Liang Dai, Institute for Advanced Study
28 February 2018 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Donghui Jeong
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Recent observational progress has uncovered new types of gravitational lensing phenomena that one may utilize to address fundamental questions in physics and astrophysics. In galaxy cluster strong-lensing systems, background galaxies sometimes straddle the lensing caustic and individual stars near the caustic can become detectable to telescopes due to extreme magnification. Motivated by a recent HST detection, I study how caustic-crossing stars can be used to sensitively probe subhalos or other possible small-scale granularity in the cluster's halo, constraining the microscopic nature of dark matter. For another application, forthcoming surveys may discover lensed fast radio transients from the distant Universe. High-precision timing of lensed radio transients can therefore be utilized to probe internal motion of the source system and give hint of its engine, or be used to probe compact objects in the intervening space.