Sir John Pendry Speaks About His Theory for a Perfect Lens

AFOSR-funded researcher, Sir John Pendry spoke to a crowd of over 200 at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s (AFIT) Kenney Hall Auditorium Monday as part of AFIT’s regular speaker series and in celebration of the 60th anniversary of AFOSR.

Pendry is well known as a condensed matter theorist and as the Chair in Theoretical Solid State Physics at the Imperial College in London where he has worked extensively on electronic and structural properties of surfaces developing the theory of low energy diffraction and electronic surface states.

One of his most notable achievements is a theory for the perfect lens that has no limits to resolution—a microscope that can resolve objects smaller than the wavelength of light.

In addition to this work, in 2006, Pendry collaborated with David Smith at Duke University to develop a theory to hide an arbitrary object from electromagnetic fields. Realizations of this concept have succeeded at radar and at visible wavelengths.

The simplicity of his concepts together with their vast potential impact have exciting implications for the future Air Force and science in general.