Every single day, people around the world depend on a wide range of optics to accomplish many of life’s basic tasks. Eyeglasses help people to see and read. Telescopes help scientists understand our world. And the many uses of lenses shape how we live and operate in our modern society.
But the types of lenses used today are far more powerful than anything our predecessors have had in their arsenal. With constant upgrades to technology and image sensing, modern lenses can accomplish a multitude of life-changing tasks.
So what are lenses used for in our current society that changes how we do things? And what are some of the uses that benefit most people without them realizing it? Keep reading to find out now.
- One of the Most Common Uses of Lenses; Cameras
It’s 2021 and almost 3 billion people around the world have a smartphone. Most, if not all, smartphones come equipped with a camera.
People use these cameras, along with other dedicated digital, film, and video cameras for everything. Some record special family moments and travel experiences. Others record incidents of crime and other important events.
All of these images and videos come from the lenses inside of cameras. The lens, whether on your phone or dedicated camera, is what filters the light coming into the camera. Adjustments to the lens allow you to focus on an image. The lens essentially works to make sense of the light and colors to produce an image, recording it either on film or digital sensors.
Settings on the camera allow the photographer to adjust the behavior of light, producing the desired image. Settings include the aperture, or how much light passes through into the camera. It also includes the shutter speed, which is the duration of time the aperture is open, as well as the ISO speed, or sensitivity to the light.
When it comes to photography, you can have one camera, but swap out your lenses, as there are many different types to choose from. Zoom lenses allow you to zoom in or out for an adjustable image. Wide-angle lenses show more of the landscape. And many other types of lenses allow for creativity in the field of photography.
- Medical Imaging
Much of the medical field relies on the use of lenses. Many different types of lenses are used in medical offices, hospitals, labs, and research facilities every day. These allow doctors, lab technicians, and researchers to adequately diagnose problems and discover life-saving solutions.
Medical uses for lenses and imaging technology include functions such as x-ray scanning, creating an image of what is going on inside a body. This can allow doctors to find breaks, cracks, or other issues and determine the best solution for patient recovery.
Other lenses allow physicians and dentists to use cameras to inside small, dark areas, illuminating and enlarging the image. Doctors use these to see into the mouth, nose, and ears. Other micro-cameras may be able to see inside other parts of the body as well.
On top of that, one of the most beneficial uses of lenses in the medical field is the use of eyeglasses and contact lenses. In fact, over half of American adults use some form of vision corrective lenses. These dramatically improve the quality of life for users, making the difference between reading and not reading, safe driving and dangerous driving, and more.
There is a myriad of uses in the medical field for advanced lens and optical technology. Those interested in how lenses are made and how to order custom lenses can check here to see more about optics manufacturing.
- Optical Fibers
You might not think of lenses when it comes to cables, lasers, and the internet, but they are vital to some of our most basic daily needs; connectivity and entertainment. Optical fibers, such as those that provide a signal to our TVs, phone lines, and routers or modems, utilize pulses of laser light.
Lasers are devices that emit light with a fine wavelength. Inside these fiber cables are mirrors, or lenses, that reflect and transmit the light. The light sent through the cable is encoded with pictures and sounds, which then show up on our television sets or computers.
The benefit of optical fibers is that the inside of the cables is totally reflective, allowing for efficient transportation of the light. None of the light is lost, keeping the signal strong even when they travel long distances.
While you might be aware that microscopes utilize different types of lenses, you might not realize how microscopes benefit you on a regular basis. Microscopes have multiple lenses; the viewing lens near your eye and the objective lens near the object to be viewed.
The light shines upward towards the object and into the objective lens. The lenses work together to produce a magnified image of the object on the stage.
Most of what we know today about biology and medicine, meaning the study of life and how to stay alive longer, comes from the use of microscopes. These incredible tools allow scientists to learn all about cells, bacteria, viruses, medicine, and everything else related to staying healthy.
Lenses are also vital to the manufacturing of semiconductors, which are the foundation of modern technology. Semiconductors are used in electronics to transmit electric signals. They are what enables everything from phones to computers, appliances to vehicles, and anything else that relies on electricity or power.
Optics are used in the production of semiconductors and microchips to allow for precise engineering. Essentially, the better the optics, the better, smaller, and more powerful the technology being manufactured can be.
This is done through the process of lithography, or the use of complex machinery to develop circuit boards, reminiscent of the ancient form of lithography, a printing process developed in the 1700s.
The Power of a Lens
The uses of lenses in our modern society have no limit. They are used in so many important tools, equipment, electronics, and consumer goods.
They are easy to take for granted, as many of these lenses are not seen, unlike those in photography or viewing devices. But the power of modern lenses continues to shape and evolve our society each year.
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