Jump to navigation Jump to search


A ground or molded transparent optical element that can change the direction and distribution of light rays. Lenses have at least one and sometimes two curved surfaces that can refract light rays causing them to converge or diverge. They are made from plastic, glass or clear minerals. Glass lenses were first made at the end of the 13th century in Europe. Lenses are used in eyeglasses, cameras, microscopes, telescopes and binoculars.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Linse (Deut.); lentille (Fr.); lente (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • ASTM, Standard Terminology of Microscopy, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 14, General Methods and Instrumentation, ASTM, E175, 75-78, May 1982
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998