Laue and Fresnel lenses
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 16:07 authored by Enrico Virgilli, Hubert Halloin, Gerald Skinner
The low-energy gamma-ray domain is an important window for the study of the high energy Universe. Here matter can be observed in extreme physical conditions and during powerful explosive events. However, observing gamma-rays from faint sources is extremely challenging with current instrumentation. With techniques used at present collecting more signal requires larger detectors, leading to an increase in instrumental background. For the leap in sensitivity that is required for future gamma-ray missions use must be made of flux concentrating telescopes. Fortunately, gamma-ray optics such as Laue or Fresnel lenses, based on diffraction, make this possible. Laue lenses work with moderate focal lengths (tens to a few hundreds of metres), but provide only rudimentary imaging capabilities. On the other hand, Fresnel lenses offer extremely good imaging, but with a very small field of view and a requirement for focal lengths $\sim$10$^8$ m. This chapter presents the basic concepts of these optics and describes their working principles, their main properties and some feasibility studies already conducted.