Tag Archives | optics


Flat lens focuses without distortion

Physicists at Harvard have created an ultrathin, flat lens that focuses light without imparting the distortions that occur with conventional lenses. At a mere 60 nanometers thick, the flat lens is essentially two-dimensional, yet its focusing power, according to the researchers, approaches the ultimate physical limit set by the laws of diffraction. The new lens […]

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Laser-lens promises attosecond shutter-speeds

A virtual lens created by two counterpropagating laser beams promises incredibly fast shutter speeds, making the real-time observation of matter at the molecular level a real possibility, says a team of scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Writing in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists explain how the laser beam lens […]

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Next-gen adaptive optics produce sharpest ever planetary images

A two-hour exposure of Jupiter using a prototype Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) instrument mounted on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has produced the sharpest whole-planet picture ever taken from an Earth-based telescope. Taken by astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the series of 265 snapshots reveal changes […]

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Telescope Cleans Up Its Image

A new adaptive optics system has allowed University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) astronomers to capture the first clear pictures of the center of our galaxy, including the area believed to harbor a super-massive black hole. The new system allows the Keck telescope in Hawaii to “see” clearly through the distorting effects of the […]

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New Method To Find Extrasolar Planets

The latest issue of the journal Optical Letters carries an intriguing article about a new optical device that might allow astronomers to view extrasolar planets directly, without the distracting and concealing glare of the parent star. This would be accomplished by “nulling” out the light of the parent star by exploiting its wave nature, while […]

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