Dr Neal Jackson
Reader in Astrophysics
Our research focuses on systems in which our line of sight to a distant galaxy or quasar lies very close to a foreground galaxy. Under these circumstances the gravitational field of the foreground galaxy deflects the light from the background object, producing distorted, magnified, multiple images of the background object. The overall effect is known as strong gravitational lensing. These systems are useful because they provide magnified views of background objects, allowing us to study objects otherwise inaccessible to today's telescopes. They also give unique information about mass distributions in the lensing galaxy, as they are sensitive to all matter regardless of whether it emits light. Studies of lens systems are also important in cosmology.