In addition to multiply-imaged quasars, a number of other aspects of lensing have been discovered: For example, giant luminous arcs, quasar microlensing, Einstein rings, galactic microlensing events, arclets, and weak gravitational lensing. At present, literally hundreds of individual gravitational lens phenomena are known. Although still in its childhood, lensing has established itself as a very useful astrophysical tool with some remarkable successes. It has contributed significant new results in areas as different as the cosmological distance scale, the large scale matter distribution in the universe, mass and mass distribution of galaxy clusters, the physics of quasars, dark matter in galaxy halos, and galaxy structure. Looking at these successes in the recent past we predict an even more luminous future for gravitational lensing.
Living Reviews in Relativity
- Pub Date:
- November 1998
- Review article for "Living Reviews in Relativity", see http://www.livingreviews.org . 41 pages, latex, 22 figures (partly in GIF format due to size constraints). High quality postscript files can be obtained electronically at http://www.aip.de:8080/~jkw/review_figures.html