RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Thursday, 29 January 2015, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Giorgios Vernardos

"Data Intensive Quasar Microlensing"

Quasar microlensing is a unique probe of quasar structure, from the broad emission line region down to the accretion disc and the supermassive black hole. Moreover, it can be used to study the mass distribution of the galaxy-lens and perform measurements of Hubble’s constant. So far, only single, or small collections, of lensed quasars have been studied using microlensing techniques due to the observational and computational challenges involved. However, this is about to change by the imminent discoveries of the upcoming all-sky survey facilities (e.g. SkyMapper, LSST). I will present results, data, and tools from the GPU-Enabled High-Resolution MicroLensing parameter survey (GERLUMPH). In particular, I will systematically investigate modeling properties across the parameter space, to answer how well we will be able to constrain quasar structure in the future. Moreover, I will demonstrate how our eResearch infrastructure, viz. database and web interface to TB-sized microlensing simulations, complemented by advanced eTools for an end-to-end online analysis of lensed systems, can accelerate the rate of scientific discovery. Such an online resource would dramatically speed-up the consistent and systematic study of large collections of these systems, using just a web browser at the user end.