To appear in "Gravitational Lensing: a unique tool for cosmology", ASP conference series, 2003, eds. D. Valls-Gabaud & J.-P. Kneib

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F. Courbin

Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège,
Allée du 6 août 17, Bat B5C, Liège 1, Belgium

Abstract. The determination of the Hubble parameter H0 is probably one of the most important applications of quasar lensing. The method, based on the measurement of the so-called "time-delay" between the lensed images of distant sources, e.g., quasars, and on detailed mass modeling of the potential well responsible for the multiple images, yields an accuracy at least comparable with other techniques and that can be improved further with high precision observations, as can be obtained with intrumentation of constantly increasing quality. The basics of the "time-delay" method are described, and the emphasis is put on the observational constraints available to the astrophysicist in order to implement the method and to derive an accurate value for H0, independent of any standard candle or any strong prior on the other cosmological parameters.

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