Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis open access



First Advisor

David Pooley

Second Advisor

Kelvin Cheng

Third Advisor

Nirav Mehta


We present Mirage, a new package for simulating gravitationally lensed quasars that allows simulation of arbitrarily sized emitting regions of the quasar’s accretion disk. We develop a robust, large-scale simulator, wirtten in Python, to model gravitationally lensed quasars. Numerical simulation of gravitationally microlensed quasars provides a tool to determine the physical size and temperature profile of quasars accretion disks which is impossible through direct observation. The method consists of ray-tracing approximately 1010 paths through a simulated starfield, taking advantage of the latest technologies in cluster computing,to calculate flux received by the observer from each lensed image from different regions of the accretion disk as the quasar moves relative to the lensing galaxy. We compare our simulations to observations of QSO2237+0305 in optical and X-ray wavebands to place constraints on the relative size of the x-ray and optical emitting regions of the quasar’s accretion disk.