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Introduction

Overview

Optical Table

Environment

Laser

Beamsplitter

Mirrors/Lenses

Table Mounts

Optic Mounts

Plate Holder

Objects/Scenes

Hardcopy

Resources

Introduction

White light display holograms are amazing images. They have unlimited visual depth and the ability to look around one object in the scene to see another object behind, also known as parallax. Holography is the only visual recording and playback process that can record three dimensional objects and scenes on an essentially two dimensional recording medium and playback these objects and scenes as a true three dimensional image to our unaided eyes. The image can be made to float in space behind, in front of, or straddling the recording medium. White light display holograms can be illuminated inexpensively with a white light source like a light bulb instead of having to use a laser.

Holography is one of the most significant discoveries made by humankind. Its discovery has had such a profound effect on our lives that the person who discovered the process in 1947, Dr. Dennis Gabor, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971 for discovering it.

There are many types of holograms, holography techniques, and applications, but this web site deals exclusively with display holograms. White light display holograms are hung on a wall and are illuminated using a clear, halogen lamp. The following images are two of many white light reflection display holograms that hang on my laboratory walls.

castle hologram image        unicorn hologram image

In this section on Building a Holography System, I will take you step-by-step through building a versatile display holography recording system. In the section on Creating Transmission & Reflection Holograms, I will take you step-by-step through using the system to make two types of simple single-beam holograms, followed by making a multi-beam transmission hologram, and finally a multi-beam white light reflection display hologram.

I highly recommend that you print out a hardcopy of the two sections mentioned above and read completely through them before you start building your holography system and creating holograms. A hardcopy link for each section is provided in the web site's navigational menu.

You do not have to be a physicist or have knowledge of physics to accomplish these goals. All that is needed is the desire to build this system, a few simple mechanical skills, and the information on this site to guide you through creating the holograms. Although I have been producing holograms for over 40 years, I still get a feeling of awe and amazement every time I create a holographic image on my system. Everything I present on building a system and creating holograms on this site are tried and true. But this should not stop you from improvising. Just remember that stability during the hologram exposure is a key factor in obtaining a bright image.

Note: All measurements in the text are given in English units. When you place your cursor over the measurement, you'll see the metric equivalent.

For assistance in building this holography system, please contact Stephen W. Michael.

 

Revised 5/2/2017