Generalised model-independent characterisation of strong gravitational lenses
IV. Formalism-intrinsic degeneracies
Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Astronomie, Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12–14, 69120
Accepted: 2 October 2018
Based on the standard gravitational lensing formalism with its effective, projected lensing potential in a given background cosmology, we investigated under which transformations of the source position and of the deflection angle the observable properties of the multiple images remain invariant. These observable properties are time delay differences, the relative image positions, relative shapes, and magnification ratios. As they only constrain local lens properties, we derive general, local invariance transformations in the areas covered by the multiple images. We show that the known global invariance transformations, for example, the mass-sheet transformation or the source position transformation, are contained in our invariance transformations, when they are restricted to the areas covered by the multiple images and when lens-model-based degeneracies are ignored, like the freedom to add or subtract masses in unconstrained regions without multiple images. Hence, we have identified the general class of invariance transformations that can occur, in particular in our model-independent local characterisation of strong gravitational lenses.
Key words: dark matter / gravitational lensing: strong / methods: data analysis / methods: analytical / galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: luminosity function / mass function
© ESO 2018