“Perfect Lens” Making Phones Into Microscopes

It’ll be high-tech and low cost… so much so, that in the future, you’re iPhone will also be equipped with a “Perfect Lens.”

Who thought you could become a better gamblerwith simply zooming in? Imagine using your smart phone equipped with a “Prefect Lens”: the only thing you would have to do is point the camera towards your adversary and hey presto! You can see the microscopic sweat particles on his forehead. This clever function could come in very handy indeed when you’re playing poker with some pros…

According to IFLScience, researchers at the Michigan Technology University and Washington University in St. Louis have found a way to make such a high-scale microscope cheaper than the scanning electron microscope. The SEM gives similar results – images viewable on a nanoscale – but it comes at quite high a price: USD 1 million. But how to make something so high-tech cheap enough so it can be used in smart phones, too?


”Perfect Lens” made out of metamaterials


If you too are scratching your head at the sight of the word “metamaterials,” here’s IFLScience’s definition: “materials engineered to alter how they interact with light. In this case, silver is engineered at the nanoscale to behave like a glass.

perfect lens metamaterial

Metamaterial surfaces (Photo: Institute of Physics)

Light waves are made to pass through the metal, instead of reflecting off it, far exceeding the optical power of ordinary lenses.” What a boost this would be for the science community and gambling technology market! Just imagine all the new gadgets thanks to “Perfect Lens”!

The main problem, according to IFLScience, is that once an optical gadget tries to zoom in on tiny objects with the size of under 200 nanometers, it is impossible for these devices to resolve these images. The newest breakthrough in the researchers’ experiment is that they were able to “get light waves to pass through a lens without getting consumed.” With this innovation, items below 200 nanometers will be successfully resolved, too.

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