Bending Space and Time: Shedding light on the biggest mysteries of the Universe with gravitational lensing

Jul 28, 2020 - 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Online — Zoom (meeting ID 992 1875 1554, password 094305) and YouTube

Dr. Simon Birrer (Stanford)

Bending Space and Time

Find out about strong gravitational lensing, an optical effect that we can see caused by the warping of space and time due to the galaxies and other matter in the Universe. In rare and extreme cases, light from a distant galaxy can reach us by many different paths such that we see the same galaxy multiple times on the sky. Gravitational lensing was the first striking confirmation of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and astrophysicists can use this phenomenon today to study some of the biggest mysteries of our Universe — dark matter and dark energy.

Dr. Simon BirrerDr. Simon Birrer is a Kavli postdoctoral fellow at KIPAC. Simon came to Stanford in 2019 from his first postdoctoral position at the University of California, Los Angeles, and after completing his doctorate in Physics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2016.

Simon researches the physical processes that govern the appearance of our Universe. He is primarily using strong gravitational lensing to learn about the physics of dark matter and dark energy. Simon is leading the efforts of an international collaboration of scientists to measure how quickly our Universe is expanding, while actively developing advanced computational and statistical tools, that are publicly available, to extend the boundaries of our knowledge.