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Hologram and Holography

Inventions And Variations

Holograms were being produced by the 1960s in the East and West, but developments in each area followed different paths.

In Britain, Dr. Dennis Gabor's intention was to improve the resolution of electron microscopes. He wrote on his efforts to tackle the problem in 1948, but since no stable source of coherent light was available, his work excited little interest as an imaging technique. T. A. Mainman at Hughes Aircraft in the United States was the first to demonstrate a ruby laser in 1960. After two other researchers, E. N. Leith and J. Upatnieks, used the laser to make 3-D images in the early 1960s, Gabor was awarded the Nobel for his research in 1971.

In 1958, Yuri Denisyuk had no idea what Gabor had done. He was fond of science fiction, and came across a reference in Efremov's story "Star Ships" to a mysterious plate, which could show a face in natural dimensions with animated eyes. The Russian researcher was inspired to try to make something just like that, which he referred to as a "wave photograph." Denisyuk's hologram could be seen under white light, because the plate doubled as a color filter.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Heterodyne to Hydrazoic acidHologram and Holography - Inventions And Variations, Materials And Techniques, Holograms Versus Photographs, Current Usage And Future Prospects