|Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1999. 37:
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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
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