General theory of relativity proposed by Einstein in 1915 predicted that massive objects bend light. As an example, light coming from a distant quasar and passing a massive body – such as a galaxy or a black hole – is deflected by gravity towards that body. This process is known as Gravitational Lensing. In fact, the foreground massive body behaves like an optical lens or a deflector, and allows the observer to see multiple images of the source.
Considering the observed flux amplification property, one may take advantage of this phenomenon, using the deflector as a cosmic telescope, and rebuilding the real (non deformed) image of the source. In this perspective, the inversion of the Gravitational Lensing phenomenon is simulated with an experimental setup (optical bench), along with numerical ray-tracing 3D simulations developed at the HOLOLAB.
These simulations are carried out together with the Astrophysics Institute (IAGL) and are to be involved in future applications to the forthcoming International 4m Liquid Mirror Telescope, in construction at the AMOS facility, in Liège.
For further information on the ILMT, see: