Probing fundamental physics with strong gravitational lensing - the present and future of measuring the Hubble constant and constraining the nature of Dark Matter

Jul 09, 2020 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Simon Birrer (KIPAC) via zoom

Zoom Recording

Evidence from different cosmological probes have lead to the establishment of the dark matter and dark energy paradigm. Dark matter dominates the matter budget at cosmological scales and drives the formation of structure and dark energy is responsible for the late time acceleration of the universe. The fundamental physical origin of these phenomena remain unknown to date. Challenging this model with high-precision measurements is key in guiding theoretical models. In particular, recent measurements of the Hubble constant are in tension with the standard cosmological model. If confirmed, this discrepancy would have profound consequences and would require new/unaccounted physics to be added to the standard cosmological model. 

In my talk, I will describe how we use the phenomena of strong gravitational to constrain the physical nature of dark matter and dark energy. I will describe the lensing observables and the analysis techniques we have developed to quantify the small scale structure of the universe and to measure the expansion rate of the Universe. I will highlight the recent results in both domains and look in the near future and highlight the prospects of this technique with increasing sample size, analysis techniques and advances in instrumentation.