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Last updated: February 28, 2022

What Does Hologram Mean?

A hologram is a recording of light wave interference patterns that can be played back to create a high-resolution image in full color and three dimensions. Unlike the stereoscopic technologies used to create 3-D experiences today, holograms do not require special glasses.

In principle, it is possible to make a hologram for any type of waveform. Because holography can record interference waves for matter, for example, some types of holograms allow people to interact with computer-generated objects as if they were real.

In 1951 Dr. Dennis Gabor won the Nobel Prize for inventing and developing the holographic method after he discovered a way to produce images that had the illusion of depth. Dr. Gabor's method was based on his observations about the interaction between light waves (interference) and how light waves align in phase with one another (coherence).

Although, Gabor figured out how to record the interference pattern between a coherent electron beam (object wave) and a coherent background (reference wave) on a photographic plate, conventional light sources at the time provided either too little light or light that was too diffuse. Holography did not become a commercial technology until after 1960's, when lasers capable of amplifying light wave intensity became available.


Techopedia Explains Hologram

Since its development, various types of holograms have been developed. One type is called a transmission hologram. This type of hologram is produced by splitting a laser light into both an illumination beam and a reference beam. The illumination beam is projected directly on the object, while the reference beam is projected directly onto the storage medium to recording light wave interference patterns on film. When played back, the reproduction appears to have depth.

Another type of hologram is the rainbow hologram, which is commonly used for authentication and security purposes. This type of hologram is created by using a vertical slit to reduce spectral blur and preserve the hologram's appearance of three-dimensionality. This type of hologram can often be found on credit cards, product packaging and driver licenses.

Some researchers believe that room-size holographic projections will be used to surround visitors in the metaverse in the not-so-distant future.


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