'Small is beautiful when it comes to the Universe'
(Article Precis, 15/Aug/1998, Issue 2147, p20)
Jonathan Hartley reports on work by Russian scientists at
Macintosh Nano-Optics, a company based in Norfolk (England), which is
developing a tiny lens more than 60% smaller than existing lenses
used in the CCDs (charged-coupled devices) of today's telescopes.
With one lens for every pixel in a CCD and an optical fibre behind
each lens, light from all the lenses is collected and processed by a
computer to form a combined imagel; but existing lenses waste as much
as 40% of the light which falls on them, mainly due to the
difficulties of making lenses with sufficient curvature.
However, the new lens design is said to lose almost none of the
incident light, giving rise to considerably improved image quality.
Since design patents are still in progress, Macintosh Nano-Optics has
not divulged any information as to how the new lenses are made,
except to say that their methods involve a smaller numbers of
Note: In order to comply with copyright law, I have ommited some
details from the original article. Thus, for a complete insight into
the topic covered here, please either consult your local library for
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Precised by Ian Mapleson, 16/Aug/1998.