Lecture: 16 June “Cosmology with Strong Gravitational Lenses” by Phil Marshall, PhD

Tuesday 7:45 PM, Presidio Observation Post, Building 211

“Cosmology with Strong Gravitational Lenses”


Phil Marshall, Ph.D., SLAC & Kavli Institute, Stanford University

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Strong gravitational lenses have become an important astronomical tool: they allow researchers to make accurate measurements of galaxy masses and constrain cosmological parameters, along with providing a magnified view of the distant universe. Dr. Marshall will discuss the potential of LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) to provide a sample of several hundred lensed quasars with well-measured time delays that would enable competitive and complementary constraints on Dark Energy, and describe ongoing investigations of how to find lenses, infer their time delays and model their mass distributions accurately, and account for weak lensing effects from external mass structures.

Brief Bio

I am currently a research scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and a member of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology(KIPAC).  My work is centered on developing  cosmology analysis for LSST, designing algorithms for making cosmological measurements. In particular I am interested in measuring distances with strong gravitational lenses, and various ways of mapping out where the mass in the Universe is. This is my third stint at KIPAC, having been a founding postdoc here in 2003-2006, and Kavli Fellow in 2009-2010. In between, I held research fellowships at the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of Oxford. I did my PhD in astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, where I first got interested in both statistical inference and observational cosmology.

For additional information and directions to the lecture, click here.

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Matthew is an SFAA past President and current webmaster. He is a web designer, software engineer, writer, and lover of the stars.

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