Diffractive/refractive optics for High Energy Astronomy: I Gamma-ray Fresnel Lenses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Diffractive optics components such as Fresnel Zone Plates and their derivatives potentially form the basis for telescope systems for X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy with high sensitivity and superb angular resolution. The main problem is that systems with convenient design parameters involve very long focal lengths. The design considerations and performance of telescopes using a simple Phase Fresnel Lens on one spacecraft and a detector assembly on another are considered. Such systems are shown to have the potential to provide orders of magnitude improvement on currently available sensitivity. At the same time the angular resolution can be at the micro arcsecond level or better-sufficient to resolve the structure surrounding the event horizon of black holes in nearby galaxies.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-700
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001