Superlens

This is an amazing breakthrough and one that has practical applications

Article: Simple ‘superlens’ sharpens focusing power

A simple-to-make “superlens” can focus 10 times more sharply than a conventional lens. It could shrink the size of features on computer chips, or help power gadgets without wires.

No matter how powerful a conventional lens, it cannot focus light down to more than about half its wavelength, the “diffraction limit“. This limits the amount of data that can be stored on a CD, and the size of features on computer chips.

Researchers have devised ways to beat the diffraction limit before, using bizarre “metamaterials” that are hard to make, and which are also the basis of prototype “invisibility cloaks”.

But such complex mixes of material stuffed with tiny loops of metal and precisely-shaped holes are unlikely to become a mass-production technology.