News of the WeekTheoretical Physics

Offbeat Lenses Promise Perfect Fidelity

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Science  10 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5494, pp. 1066
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5494.1066a

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A seemingly ineluctable property of any lens is that it cannot focus all wavelengths of light shed by a distant object. But now a British physicist has found an ingenious solution that lights the way to building a perfect "superlens." He calculated that light waves passing through a material with a negative refractive index--one in which light bends in the opposite direction from the way it bends on entering a glass lens--would reach the focal point intact, preventing any loss of resolution.