Gravitational lensing has changed in the past two decades from an interesting curiosity into a useful astrophysical tool. In fact, it has a lot of important applications, ranging from studies in the solar system, to galactic structure, to probing cosmological objects. Some of the practical consequences in lensing have been known for a long time and have been predicted early on, whereas other applications popped up only recently. In fact, gravitational lensing is one of the few branches in astronomy/astrophysics, which is conceptually simple enough that one can use it to make quantitative predictions. This feature of being able to calculate or prove a result and then go out and confirm/detect it observationally — generally hailed as one of the principles of good science — has produced some particularly nice examples in lensing, with the Einstein light deflection at the solar limb being the most famous one.
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