If you've ever used a magnifying glass in bright sunlight, you're familiar with its impressive focusing power. The ability of a magnifying glass to focus sunlight into a laser-like pinpoint is exactly what makes it magnify images, just in the opposite direction: light waves travel from an object to the glass, where they're bent in a way that make the object look as big as the glass itself. The simplicity of a magnifying glass is what makes it possible to build optics as big as telescopes and as small as microscopes, but for centuries, there had been a limit: you couldn't focus light any smaller than its wavelength (that's just smaller than a millionth of a meter). Until now, that is: researchers led by the University of Cambridge have created a magnifying glass that can do just that.
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