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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


We present the theory of ray-optical transformation optics (RTO) with ideal thin lenses and show that ideal-thin-lens RTO devices are omnidirectional lenses. Key to designing such devices are two theorems, the loop-imaging theorem, and the edge-imaging theorem, which ensure that the interior physical space is distorted in the same way for all viewing directions. We discuss the possibility of realising such devices using lens holograms or Fresnel lenses, as both are in principle capable of changing the directions of rays incident from a specific point precisely like an ideal thin lens, thereby enabling macroscopic and broad-band RTO devices that work for at least one viewing position. Even when restricted in this way, our work opens up new possibilities in ray optics. Our devices have the potential to form the basis of new microscope objectives, virtual-reality headsets, and medical spectacles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17872-17888
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018


  • ray optical transformation optics
  • thin lenses
  • RTO devices
  • lens holograms
  • Fresnel lenses

Cite this