Pranav Sivakumar

Identification of Gravitationally Lensed Quasars

Pranav Sivakumar, USA Finalist, 13-14

A novel method was developed to identify gravitationally lensed quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). It is hypothesized that if multiple objects in an SDSS image meet both photometric and spectral criteria, then these objects are gravitationally lensed quasar candidates. Using SDSS DR10 data, the algorithm compared quasars to their neighbors to determine if the neighbors were images of the same quasar. A comparison of the project’s results with lensed quasars from the literature supported the hypothesis. In addition, the algorithm identified twelve additional lens candidates not reported in the literature.