Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study suggests simple way to make near-perfect lenses

07.09.2005


A new study from the University of Edinburgh and Pennsylvania State University suggests a smart solution to one of the biggest challenges facing the optics and electromagnetics sector – how to produce near-perfect lenses cheaply.



Researchers have devised a strikingly simple method of producing materials which bend light the ’wrong’ way – a significant development as lenses with minimal distortion can be made from flat slabs of these negatively-refracting materials. In technological fields where lenses are key components, such as telecommunications, microwave engineering and optical engineering, negatively-refracting materials which can be cheaply produced are expected to have a revolutionary impact.

Although scientists have sought to minimize lens distortion for centuries, it is only within the past five years that the production of near-perfect lenses has become a realistic possibility. Progress has been made possible with the recent creation of negatively-refracting materials which enable rays of light, passing from one material to another, to bend in the opposite direction to that described in conventional physics textbooks.


However, these negatively-refracting materials are difficult and costly to produce, as they involve complex assemblies of intricately-shaped conducting components embossed on non-conducting platforms. A study by Dr Tom Mackay, of the University of Edinburgh, and Professor Akhlesh Lakhtakia, of Pennsylvania State University, suggests a much simpler method of construction.

The new study, reported in Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, shows that rather than creating complex and costly microelectronic devices, negatively-refracting materials can instead be produced by simply blending two granular substances together. Neither of the two granular substances can refract negatively by itself. However, the study predicts that a homogeneous mixture of these two substances can refract negatively, provided the relative properties and proportions of the substances are chosen appropriately.

Dr Tom Mackay, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Mathematics, said: "Through its simplicity, this method represents an exciting breakthrough for inexpensive exploitation of negative refraction technologies. The prospects for near-perfect lenses, and beyond, brings dreams a step closer to reality."

Ronald Kerr | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ed.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Speed data for the brain’s navigation system

06.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization

06.12.2016 | Life Sciences

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>