Ray-optical transformation optics with ideal thin lenses makes omnidirectional lenses

Johannes Courtial, Tomáš Tyc, Jakub Bělín, Stephen Oxburgh, Gergely Ferenczi, Euan N. Cowie, Chris D. White
  • Optics Express, June 2018, Optical Society of America (OSA)
  • DOI: 10.1364/oe.26.017872

Invisibility cloak built of only lenses and looking through the lens

What is it about?

We present a theory and discuss the strategies how to build an invisibility cloak from lenses, operating for all observing positions and directions. Then we also focus on the potential applications of our design. Probably the most interesting application is what we called the omnidirectional lens; when looking out through the cloak in any direction, the world appears like imaged by a lens.

Why is it important?

It is the first time the omnidirectional invisibility cloak built of lenses is presented. Recent designs considered materials with extreme refractive-index distributions (Pendry, Science 2006) or work just for few viewing directions (the "Rochester cloak"). Our design gets over these limitations. Moreover, our cloak also works like a lens with a large field of view, which can be applied, for example, in microscopy or VR. Finally, our simulations revealed there are points within the cloak from which the outer area appears to be rotated. This feature can be a potentially applied for the treatment of cyclotropia, a medical condition where patients see a rotated view.


Jakub Belin (Author)
University of Glasgow

From my point of view, this paper includes a lot of interesting work and it is a source of inspiration for designing novel optical devices built of non-standard combinations of optical components, namely lenses.

Dr Euan N Cowie (Author)
University of Glasgow

For me, this work is an interesting piece of theory. Whilst my usual work in this area is concentrated on the characterisation of and improvements to practical devices, this was wonderful to see the limits of our understanding pushed to such an interesting limit.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Euan N Cowie, Johannes Courtial, and Jakub Belin