Thomas E. Collett

Thomas E. Collett
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Thomas E. Collett

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (15)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (10)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (4)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (2)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (1)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)

Publications Authored By Thomas E. Collett

We train and apply convolutional neural networks, a machine learning technique developed to learn from and classify image data, to Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) imaging for the identification of potential strong lensing systems. An ensemble of four convolutional neural networks was trained on images of simulated galaxy-galaxy lenses. The training sets consisted of a total of 62,406 simulated lenses and 64,673 non-lens negative examples generated with two different methodologies. Read More

Gravitational lensing directly probes the underlying mass distribution of lensing systems, the high redshift universe, and cosmological models. The advent of large scale surveys such as the Large Synoptic Sky Telescope (LSST) and Euclid has prompted a need for automatic and efficient identification of strong lensing systems. We present (1) a strong lensing identification pipeline, and (2) a mock LSST dataset with strong galaxy-galaxy lenses. Read More

Galaxy-scale strong gravitational lensing is not only a valuable probe of the dark matter distribution of massive galaxies, but can also provide valuable cosmological constraints, either by studying the population of strong lenses or by measuring time delays in lensed quasars. Due to the rarity of galaxy-scale strongly lensed systems, fast and reliable automated lens finding methods will be essential in the era of large surveys such as LSST, Euclid, and WFIRST. To tackle this challenge, we introduce CMU DeepLens, a new fully automated galaxy-galaxy lens finding method based on Deep Learning. Read More

Strongly lensed active galactic nuclei (AGN) provide a unique opportunity to make progress in the study of the evolution of the correlation between the mass of supermassive black holes ($\mathcal M_{BH}$) and their host galaxy luminosity ($L_{host}$). We demonstrate the power of lensing by analyzing two systems for which state-of-the-art lens modelling techniques have been applied to Hubble Space Telescope imaging data. We use i) the reconstructed images to infer the total and bulge luminosity of the host and ii) published broad-line spectroscopy to estimate $\mathcal M_{BH}$ using the so-called virial method. Read More

We consider the dispersion on the supernova distance-redshift relation due to peculiar velocities and gravitational lensing, and the sensitivity of these effects to the amplitude of the matter power spectrum. We use the MeMo lensing likelihood developed by Quartin, Marra & Amendola (2014), which accounts for the characteristic non-Gaussian distribution caused by lensing magnification with measurements of the first four central moments of the distribution of magnitudes. We build on the MeMo likelihood by including the effects of peculiar velocities directly into the model for the moments. Read More

Strong gravitational lenses with measured time delays between the multiple images allow a direct measurement of the time-delay distance to the lens, and thus a measure of cosmological parameters, particularly the Hubble constant, $H_{0}$. We present a blind lens model analysis of the quadruply-imaged quasar lens HE 0435-1223 using deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging, updated time-delay measurements from the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses (COSMOGRAIL), a measurement of the velocity dispersion of the lens galaxy based on Keck data, and a characterization of the mass distribution along the line of sight. HE 0435-1223 is the third lens analyzed as a part of the $H_{0}$ Lenses in COSMOGRAIL's Wellspring (H0LiCOW) project. Read More

Based on spectroscopy and multiband wide-field observations of the gravitationally lensed quasar HE 0435-1223, we determine the probability distribution function of the external convergence $\kappa_\mathrm{ext}$ for this system. We measure the under/overdensity of the line of sight towards the lens system and compare it to the average line of sight throughout the universe, determined by using the CFHTLenS as a control field. Aiming to constrain $\kappa_\mathrm{ext}$ as tightly as possible, we determine under/overdensities using various combinations of relevant informative weighing schemes for the galaxy counts, such as projected distance to the lens, redshift, and stellar mass. Read More

Inferring cosmological parameters from time-delay strong lenses requires a significant investment of telescope time; it is therefore tempting to focus on the systems with the brightest sources, the highest image multiplicities and the widest image separations. We investigate if this selection bias can influence the properties of the lenses studied and the cosmological parameters that are inferred. Using a population of lenses with ellipsoidal powerlaw density profiles, we build a sample of double and quadruple image systems. Read More

Probing the relative speeds of gravitational waves and light acts as an important test of General Relativity and alternative theories of gravity. Measuring the arrival time of gravitational waves and electromagnetic counterparts can be used to measure the relative speeds, but only if the intrinsic time-lag between emission of the photons and gravitational waves is well understood. Here we suggest a method that does not make such an assumption, using future strongly lensed GW events and EM counterparts; Biesiada et al forecast that 50-100 strongly lensed GW events will be observed each year with the Einstein Telescope. Read More

Compound strong gravitational lensing is a rare phenomenon, but a handful of such lensed systems are likely to be discovered in forthcoming surveys. In this work, we use a double SIS lens model to analytically understand how the properties of the system impact image multiplicity for the final source. We find that up to six images of a background source can form, but only if the second lens is multiply imaged by the first and the Einstein radius of the second lens is comparable to, but does not exceed that of the first. Read More

Ongoing and future imaging surveys represent significant improvements in depth, area and seeing compared to current data-sets. These improvements offer the opportunity to discover up to three orders of magnitude more galaxy-galaxy strong lenses than are currently known. In this work we forecast the number of lenses discoverable in forthcoming surveys and simulate their properties. Read More

We describe Space Warps, a novel gravitational lens discovery service that yields samples of high purity and completeness through crowd-sourced visual inspection. Carefully produced colour composite images are displayed to volunteers via a web- based classification interface, which records their estimates of the positions of candidate lensed features. Images of simulated lenses, as well as real images which lack lenses, are inserted into the image stream at random intervals; this training set is used to give the volunteers instantaneous feedback on their performance, as well as to calibrate a model of the system that provides dynamical updates to the probability that a classified image contains a lens. Read More

We report the discovery of 29 promising (and 59 total) new lens candidates from the CFHT Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) based on about 11 million classifications performed by citizen scientists as part of the first Space Warps lens search. The goal of the blind lens search was to identify lens candidates missed by robots (the RingFinder on galaxy scales and ArcFinder on group/cluster scales) which had been previously used to mine the CFHTLS for lenses. We compare some properties of the samples detected by these algorithms to the Space Warps sample and find them to be broadly similar. Read More

We present a Bayesian framework to account for the magnification bias from both strong and weak gravitational lensing in estimates of high-redshift galaxy luminosity functions. We illustrate our method by estimating the $z\sim8$ UV luminosity function using a sample of 97 Y-band dropouts (Lyman break galaxies) found in the Brightest of Reionizing Galaxies (BoRG) survey and from the literature. We find the luminosity function is well described by a Schechter function with characteristic magnitude of $M^\star = -19. Read More

We present constraints on the equation of state of dark energy, $w$, and the total matter density, $\Omega_{\mathrm{M}}$, derived from the double-source-plane strong lens SDSSJ0946+1006, the first cosmological measurement with a galaxy-scale double-source-plane lens. By modelling the primary lens with an elliptical power-law mass distribution, and including perturbative lensing by the first source, we are able to constrain the cosmological scaling factor in this system to be $\beta^{-1}=1.404 \pm 0. Read More

High precision cosmological distance measurements towards individual objects such as time delay gravitational lenses or type Ia supernovae are affected by weak lensing perturbations by galaxies and groups along the line of sight. In time delay gravitational lenses, "external convergence," kappa, can dominate the uncertainty in the inferred distances and hence cosmological parameters. In this paper we attempt to reconstruct kappa, due to line of sight structure, using a simple halo model. Read More

In order to use strong gravitational lens time delays to measure precise and accurate cosmological parameters the effects of mass along the line of sight must be taken into account. We present a method to achieve this by constraining the probability distribution function of the effective line of sight convergence k_ext. The method is based on matching the observed overdensity in the weighted number of galaxies to that found in mock catalogs with k_ext obtained by ray-tracing through structure formation simulations. Read More

We investigate the possibility of constraining the dark energy equation of state by measuring the ratio of Einstein radii in a strong gravitational lens system with two source planes. This quantity is independent of the Hubble parameter and directly measures the growth of angular diameter distances as a function of redshift. We investigate the prospects for a single double source plane system and for a forecast population of systems discovered by re-observing a population of single source lenses already known from a photometrically selected catalogue such as CASSOWARY or from a spectroscopically selected catalogue such as SLACS. Read More