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A Theory Program to Exploit Weak Gravitational Lensing to Constrain Dark Energy – Andrew Zentner

Date: Fri. February 26th, 2010, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

Weak gravitational lensing is one of the most promising techniques to constrain the dark energy that drives the contemporary cosmic acceleration. I give an overview of the dark energy problem, focusing on the manner in which weak gravitational lensing can determine the nature of the dark energy. Bringing lensing constraints to fruition is challenging both observationally and theoretically. I will focus on the theoretical challenges. The most demanding of these is to make accurate predictions for the power spectrum of density fluctuations on nonlinear scales, including treatments of baryonic processes such as galaxy formation, that have been neglected in much of the literature. I will finish with a discussion of the theoretical uncertainties that may hinder the dark energy program and what we are doing to mitigate these hindrances. Success in this program will allow for dark energy constraints and unique and powerful probes of galaxy evolution. The final aspects of this talk are aimed somewhat at pundits but make close connection with work being performed at Case.

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