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"The way you write science fiction is: you sit down at your writing machine and you open your mind to the first thought that comes through."
- Frederik Pohl

Gravity Lens  
  An optical lens created using the lightbending properties of gravity.  

The classic experiment to demonstrate the lightbending properties of large masses was performed in 1919. And in 1936, Albert Einstein published a further prediction that immense gravitational fields would bend and focus light as an optical lens would.

Finally, you can get the same effect without a solar-sized mass.

"How do you like my telescope?"

Alice said "The whole sky?"

"It's a gravity lens ... You know that a gravity field bends light? Good. I can make a field that warps light into a focus. It's lenticular, shaped like a red blood platelet.

From Protector, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1973
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Protector
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Protector
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Gravity Lens-related news articles:
  - A First: Planet Found With Gravitational Microlensing

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