But that’s not the trick. The real trick is tweaking the light just right so that it comes into a focal point that is much tighter than what can be achieved using a regular lens relying on only refraction to focus the light. The team’s setup is so spot-on accurate that they can actually move the focal point around, allowing them to scan back and forth over a nanoscale object and build an image.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Visible-Light Lens Can See Objects Tinier Than The Light's Wavelength | Popular Science: The Dutch team (they’re from the University of Twente) measures this light distortion using a CCD chip, which gives them a reading of the distorted light’s shape. Using that data, they then send the light through the lens again, but this time they run it through a modulator that lets them distort the light to their liking. In this way they can actually inject light through the lens that’s already distorted in such a way that it cancels out the lens distortion.