Concept

# Luneburg lens

Résumé
A Luneburg lens (original German Lüneburg lens, sometimes incorrectly spelled Luneberg lens) is a spherically symmetric gradient-index lens. A typical Luneburg lens's refractive index n decreases radially from the center to the outer surface. They can be made for use with electromagnetic radiation from visible light to radio waves. For certain index profiles, the lens will form perfect geometrical s of two given concentric spheres onto each other. There are an infinite number of refractive-index profiles that can produce this effect. The simplest such solution was proposed by Rudolf Luneburg in 1944. Luneburg's solution for the refractive index creates two conjugate foci outside the lens. The solution takes a simple and explicit form if one focal point lies at infinity, and the other on the opposite surface of the lens. J. Brown and A. S. Gutman subsequently proposed solutions which generate one internal focal point and one external focal point. These solutions are not unique; the set of solutions are defined by a set of definite integrals which must be evaluated numerically. Each point on the surface of an ideal Luneburg lens is the focal point for parallel radiation incident on the opposite side. Ideally, the dielectric constant of the material composing the lens falls from 2 at its center to 1 at its surface (or equivalently, the refractive index falls from to 1), according to where is the radius of the lens. Because the refractive index at the surface is the same as that of the surrounding medium, no reflection occurs at the surface. Within the lens, the paths of the rays are arcs of ellipses. Maxwell's fish-eye lens is also an example of the generalized Luneburg lens. The fish-eye, which was first fully described by Maxwell in 1854 (and therefore pre-dates Luneburg's solution), has a refractive index varying according to where is the index of refraction at the center of the lens and is the radius of the lens's spherical surface. The index of refraction at the lens's surface is .
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