Derivation of the lens equation

  • Peter Schneider
  • Jürgen Ehlers
  • Emilio E. Falco
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


As discussed in Chap. 2, the gravitational lens phenomenon is important mainly for distant, extragalactic sources (z ≳ 1) and deflectors (z ≳ 0.05). The corresponding theory must, therefore, account for (i) the bending and distortion of light bundles by nearly isolated, bound masses, and (ii) the imbedding of sources, deflectors, and observers into their cosmological environment, how this affects the propagation of light, and, in particular, the relations between observables of sources and lenses. The first three sections of this chapter are devoted to the first topic. The fourth section contains a summary of those aspects of cosmology which are relevant for lens theory, together with some background material. On this basis, the second topic is treated in Sects. 4.5 and 4.6. Finally, in Sect. 4.7 we consider some aspects of wave optics, in preparation for Chap. 7.


Dust Model Lens Plane Angular Diameter Distance Lens Equation Fermat Potential 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Schneider
    • 1
  • Jürgen Ehlers
    • 2
  • Emilio E. Falco
    • 3
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für AstrophysikGarchingGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für GravitationsphysikAlbert-Einstein-InstitutPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsCambridgeUSA

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