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The Potential Use for Strong Gravitational Lensing in the Detection of Dark Matter

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Both strong and weak gravitational lensing allow astronomers to calculate the mass distribution of the foreground lens by analysis of the distortion of the lensed light. This process is currently the most precise way to quantify the presence of dark

Both strong and weak gravitational lensing allow astronomers to calculate the mass distribution of the foreground lens by analysis of the distortion of the lensed light. This process is currently the most precise way to quantify the presence of dark matter in galaxies. In addition, strong gravitational lensing allows astronomers to observe directly the light from the background source, as it will be both magnified in brightness and easier to resolve. Current computer models can essentially "remove" the foreground galaxy/galaxies to isolate and reconstruct an image of the background source with a resolution greater than that observed without lensing. Both the measurement of dark matter within galaxies and the direct observation of lensed galaxies are goals for this project. This was done using LENSTOOL, a software package chosen for the project, and originally designed to perform such calculations efficiently. While neither goal was met in its entirety, this paper reflects the results of this project throughout the course of the past year.

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2018-05