Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1999. 37: 127-189
Copyright © 1999 by . All rights reserved

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PROBING THE UNIVERSE WITH WEAK LENSING

Yannick Mellier 1, 2


1 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98 bis Boulevard Arago, Paris, 75014 France.
2 Observatoire de Paris, DEMIRM, 61 avenue de l'Observatoire, Paris, 75014 France;
E-mail: mellier@iap.fr


Abstract. Gravitational lenses can provide crucial information on the geometry of the Universe, on the cosmological scenario of formation of its structures as well as on the history of its components with look-back time. In this review, I focus on the most recent results obtained during the last five years from the analysis of the weak lensing regime. The potential of weak lensing as a probe of dark matter and the study of the coupling between light and mass on scales of clusters of galaxies, large-scale structures and galaxies is discussed first. Then I present the impact of weak lensing for the study of distant galaxies and of the population of lensed sources as a function of redshift. Finally, I discuss the potential of weak lensing to constrain the cosmological parameters, either from pure geometrical effects observed in peculiar lenses, or from the coupling of weak lensing with the CMB.


Key words: cosmology, gravitational lensing, dark matter, clusters of galaxies, evolution of galaxies


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

DEFINITIONS
Lensing equations
Relation with observable quantities

MASS DISTRIBUTION IN CLUSTERS OF GALAXIES
Mass reconstruction with arclets
Mass reconstruction from weak lensing
Measuring weak shear
Mass profile from the magnification bias

LARGE-SCALE STRUCTURES AND COSMIC SHEAR
Theoretical expectations
Measuring the biasing
Strategies for weak lensing surveys
Critical issues

GALAXY-GALAXY LENSING IN FIELD GALAXIES

GRAVITATIONAL TELESCOPE AND HIGH-Z UNIVERSE
Redshift distribution of galaxies beyond B=25
Spectral content of arc(let)s
Morphology of highly-magnified galaxies

COSMOLOGICAL PARAMETERS
Constraints from cluster reconstruction
Statistics of arc(let)s
Magnification bias

LENSING THE CMB

FUTURE PROSPECTS

REFERENCES

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