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A novel optical element will one day enable composite lenses and telescopes in a form factor small enough to fit in a pocket. The device, developed by Orad Reshef and Jeff Lundeen of the University of Ottawa, is called a spaceplate. Its function, say its developers, is to mimic the empty space needed to focus an image — meaning one day photographers will be able to take pictures of faraway subjects without lugging around a long-barrel telephoto lens.
“A spaceplate is an optical element that propagates light for a distance that exceeds its thickness,” Reshef and Lundeen told Photonics Media in an email correspondence. “From the perspective of a beam of light, after traveling through a spaceplate, it acts as if…READ MORE