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Cosmology with Gravitational Lens Time Delays

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Strong gravitational lenses with measured time delays between the multiple images can be used to determine the Hubble constant that sets the expansion rate of the Universe. Measuring the Hubble constant is crucial for inferring properties of dark energy, spatial curvature of the Universe and neutrino physics. I will describe techniques for measuring the Hubble constant from lensing with a realistic account of systematic uncertainties. A program initiated to measure the Hubble constant to less than 3.5% in precision from strong lenses is in progress, and I will present the latest results and their implications. Search is underway to find new lenses in imaging surveys. An exciting discovery of the first strongly lensed supernova offered a rare opportunity to perform a true blind test of our modeling techniques. I will show the bright prospects of gravitational lens time delays as an independent and competitive cosmological probe.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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