Lecture: 19 August “Probing …Physics with …Gravitational Lensing” by Simon Birrer, KIPAC

19 August 2020, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“Probing Fundamental Physics with Strong Gravitational Lensing”



Simon Birrer, PhD, Stanford University, KIPAC

In general relativity, the presence of matter can curve spacetime, and the path of a light ray will be deflected as a result. This process is called gravitational lensing, analogous to the deflection of light by (e.g. glass) lenses in optics.In rare and extreme cases, light can take different paths to the observer and more than one image of the source will appear.Strong gravitational lensing is lensing that is strong enough to produce these multiple images, arcs, or even Einstein rings. Many useful results for cosmology have come out of using this phenomena.Dr. Birrer will shed more light on how astronomers are utilizing strong gravitational lensing to probe the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the dominant but yet unknown components of our Universe.

 Brief Bio

Simon Birrer received his degrees in Physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, culminating in his PhD in 2016. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University since Fall of 2019. Before joining Stanford he was a postdoc researcher at UCLA, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Throughout his career, he enjoys interacting with the public giving lectures, telescope tours and planetarium shows. He hopes to engage and promote the talents and curiosity of the next generation of physicists

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting “live” with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect by 7:30pm on Wednesday, August 19th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/97157298776?pwd=RHFXT2FWMWY0UTRYQjJsQnlLM2pkUT09

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting.  If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 971 5729 8776 and password 976502 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video. 

Club and welcome announcements will begin at 7:45pm and the lecture will start promptly at 8:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310

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