A lens is a transmissive optical devicethat focuses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (elements), usually arranged along a common axis. Lenses are made up of glass or plastic, and ground and polished or moulded to a desired shape. A lens can focus light to form an image, unlike a prism, which refracts light without focusing. Devices that disperse waves and radiation other than visible light are also called lenses, such as microwave lenses, electron lenses, acoustic lenses, or explosive lenses.