Smoot Lensing Subgroup




We are a group of undergraduate students studying at the University of California Berkeley doing Astrophysics research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under Prof. George Smoot. Our primary focus is weak gravitational lensing, although we are currently working with the Supernova Cosmology Group to determine the magnification of a few type Ia Supernova behind galaxy clusters.

Mark Wagner
Tyler Pritchard
Edgar Shaghoulian


Tyler Pritchard and Mark Wagner with poster created for the 2007 AAS meeting in Seattle:

During the course of their most recent supernova search, the Supernova Cosmology Project has discovered three high-redshift (very distant and early) supernovae behind massive galaxy clusters. The clusters bend and intensify the light from the supernovae. We fit theoretical mass models with observed cluster data and then calculated the estimated brightness magnification to correct for this effect and obtain better supernova cosmology. With increasingly distant supernovae being observed, analysis of magnification of these supernovae due to gravitational lensing by foreground clusters will be of growing importance. Our project will ultimately help understand and reduce the consequences of this effect.

Read more about this project from Today at Berkeley Lab.


Last update: January 2007