Metamaterials hold the elusive promise of the true invisibility cloak, one that bends light right around objects to make them invisible to viewers. But most metamaterials with any kind of potential can only be fabricated in very small sizes, and even the ones that work well--and there are a few--generally don't work in the visible spectrum.
A new microscopy method that ditches lenses altogether could create the highest-resolution images ever seen. The system reconstructs an image from the electron waves scattered by a sample, and has no fundamental experimental limits imposed by constraints like blurry glass or wavelengths of visible light. It can even be used to image live cells without harming them.
Two MIT researchers have cracked some fundamental problems with high resolution 3-D imaging using a novel gelatinous interface and computer-vision algorithms that, in tandem, can easily and portably provide imaging resolutions that were previously only possible with large and expensive laboratory gear. The resulting high-quality, 3-D models can be manipulated on a computer screen to a variety of ends ranging from quality control to criminal forensics to dermatology.