gravitational lensing time delay
derang-e zâyide-ye lenzeš-e gerâneši
Fr.: retard dû à l'effet de lentille gravitationnelle
The difference in light travel times along the various light paths from the source to the observer when the source image is divided into several images because of → gravitational lensing. According to the theory of → general relativity, light rays are deflected in the vicinity of massive objects. If the light source and the deflector are sufficiently well aligned with the observer, and obey some conditions on their distances (→ Einstein radius), we can observe several (generally distorted and magnified) images of the source. A property of → strong lensing is that the light travel time from the source to the observer is generally not identical for the different images. In other words, we not only see several images of one same object, but we also see this object, in each image, at different times. This means, in one image the lensed object will be observed before the other image. Given a physical model of the gravitational lens, the light travel time for each image can be computed. The expression giving the time delay has two components: a term is called → geometric delay, and the second term, known as the → Shapiro time delay. The latter is due to time dilation by the gravitational field of the lens, a direct consequence of general relativity. See also → time delay distance.