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Advancements in Holography Usher In Sci-Fi-Inspired Devices

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As holography quietly matures, new techniques have the potential to transform displays, imaging, and microscopy.


The 1971 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the Hungarian-British electrical engineer Dennis Gabor for inventing the field of holography. It wasn’t until six years later, however, that the discipline would gain widespread recognition. In 1977, the movie “Star Wars” arrived in U.S. theaters, and the robot R2-D2 projected Princess Leia Organa saying the memorable words, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” While Leia’s projection technically was not a hologram but a volumetric light-field display (a technique used to bring back to the stage deceased entertainers such as Elvis Presley and Tupac Shakur), three-dimensional holograms have been inextricably linked with a vision of the future. Current applications in holography are poised to usher it in.

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Published: December 2019
Holography is a technique used to capture and reconstruct three-dimensional images using the principles of interference and diffraction of light. Unlike conventional photography, which records only the intensity of light, holography records both the intensity and phase information of light waves scattered from an object. This allows the faithful reproduction of the object's three-dimensional structure, including its depth, shape, and texture. The process of holography typically involves the...
An interference pattern that is recorded on a high-resolution plate, the two interfering beams formed by a coherent beam from a laser and light scattered by an object. If after processing, the plate is viewed correctly by monochromatic light, a three-dimensional image of the object is seen.
virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment or experience that can be interacted with and explored by an individual using electronic devices, such as a headset with a display. VR aims to create a sense of presence, immersing users in a computer-generated world that can be entirely fictional or a replication of the real world. It often involves the use of specialized hardware and software to provide a fully immersive and interactive experience. ...
A wavefront refers to the continuous surface or boundary representing points in a wave that are in phase, meaning they have the same phase or position in their respective cycles. In simpler terms, it's the front edge of a wave as it propagates through a medium. For example, in a water wave, the wavefront would be the crest of the wave, representing the points where the water's surface reaches its highest elevation. Similarly, in a sound wave, the wavefront would represent the points of...
artificial intelligence
The ability of a machine to perform certain complex functions normally associated with human intelligence, such as judgment, pattern recognition, understanding, learning, planning, and problem solving.
holographyDennis GaborStar WarshologramObject-Based Mediawaveguidessmartphonesfemtosecond lasersvirtual realityaugumented realityARVRwavefrontTricorderStar TrekAkonia HolographicsXPrizeneural networksMicroscopyartificial intelligenceAIFeatures

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