Published on Tue Dec 20 2016

Weak gravitational lensing

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According to the theory of general relativity, masses deflect light in a way similar to convex glass lenses. This gravitational lensing effect is astigmatic, giving rise to image distortions. These distortions allow to quantify cosmic structures statistically on a broad range of scales, and to map the spatial distribution of dark and visible matter. We summarise the theory of weak gravitational lensing and review applications to galaxies, galaxy clusters and larger-scale structures in the Universe.