The Hologram Technology

One innovation that is growing at a rapid pace is hologram technology. Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object and then presents it as three-dimensional.

What Is a Hologram?

A hologram is a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source.

Hologram Technology

When we take a photograph, let’s say, of an apple, the camera records the light that bounced off the apple and went into the camera’s lens. But this only records a single perspective of the apple. That’s why photographs look flat. If we want to do a little bit better, we could take two photographs next to each other and then send one of those images to one of your eyes and the other image to the other eye. This is how 3D movies work, and it gives them depth. But it still has a problem. You can’t turn your head and get more perspectives on the apple. We can be better than this. Light is a wave. It’s like a water wave, only water waves are made of water, and light waves are made of electric and magnetic fields. We can deflect the light wave by passing it through a diffraction grating. The finer the grating the more the light wave is deflected. And when we combine a bunch of these diffraction gratings in order to shape a light wave however want it to be shaped. That’s exactly what a hologram is. It’s a combination, a superposition of diffraction gratings that are designed to reconstruct the original light wave that bounced off of the apple. But how do we make this hologram? Well, the way to make the hologram is to take the light that’s bouncing off the apple and mix it with a laser beam. Then they’ll form an interference pattern, similar to when you drop two pebbles into a pond. The waves spread out and meet. When they meet each other, they form sort of a crosshatch pattern. We’re going to take this crosshatch pattern, and we’re going to put it in some photographic chemicals that will record it. That’s how holograms are made.

Common Examples of Holograms

1) Holograms are used in advertisements and consumer packaging of products to attract potential buyers.

2) Holography has been used by artists to create pulsed holographic portraits as well as other works of art.

3) Bar codes on items such as food and home appliances are also holograms, used to make sure nothing gets stolen.

4) It’s used in credit cards and drivers licenses.

5) Holography has been used to make archival recordings of valuable and/or fragile museum artefacts.

6) Sony Electronics uses holographic technology in their digital cameras. A holographic crystal is used to allow the camera to detect the edge of the subject and differentiate between it and the background. As a result, the camera is able to focus accurately in dark conditions.

Future Applications of Holograms

1) Holographic memory is a new optical storage method that can store 1 terabyte (= 1000 GB) of data in a crystal approximately the size of a sugar cube. In comparison, current methods of storage include CD’s that hold 650 to 700 MB, DVD’s that store 4.7 GB, and computer hard drives that hold up to 120 GB.

2) Optical computers will be capable of delivering trillions of bits of information faster than the latest computers.

Advantages of Hologram Technology

It is a very cost effective solution to make and to hire. It has higher storage capacity compared to other methods. It delivers enhanced feasibility of objects including depth. They are complex patterns and hence offers security in wide applications as mentioned above. Holographic technologies can be easily combined with other technologies.

Disadvantages of Hologram Technology

It has a higher production cost compare to 2D projection. It is not easily seen in the presence of fluorescent lighting. Use of applying the concept of holographic projection in the design of products are costly. It is time-consuming to construct images using 3D holograms. Holographic data storage suffers from noise and sensitivity issues. Moreover, it has material limitations.




References: Georgia Tech

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