Technology may revolutionize lens design

lead_sem-image-of-meta-lens_scale-bar-2-micron-meter-800x533-smToronto.  Camera lenses were initially made with regular flint and crown glass used in various combinations of elements. In the 1870s at Zeiss, Ernst Abbe, did mathematical lens calculations requiring non existent types of glass. Meeting with Otto Schott was a revelation for Abbe. Schott was willing to experiment with small batches of glass to try and create the glass Abbe needed for his formulae to work. A few years later the two were successful in creating glass that made apochromatic lenses for microscopes practical.

Today, Russ Forfar sent me a note from a blog he receives called Physics Today. This brief article notes research into special materials that potentially allow lenses to be made thinner and lighter than traditional glass lenses. This discovery was reported in New Scientist. Perhaps we will soon have another milestone event like the collaboration of Abbe and Schott! It is telling that Physics Today explains the lens design could affect telescopes, microscopes and cell phone cameras…


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