Dennis Gabor – the inventor of holography. By Andrei Nesterovitch Stephen F. Austin State University BIO 575 Instructor – Dr. Alexandra Van Kley Fall 2003. WHAT IS HOLOGRAPHY?. Encyclopedia Britannica: Date: 1964 : the art or process of making or using a hologram. WHAT IS HOLOGRAM?.
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By Andrei Nesterovitch
Stephen F. Austin State University
Instructor – Dr. Alexandra Van Kley
Date: 1964: the art or process of making or using a hologram
Date: 1949: a three-dimensional image reproduced from a pattern of interference produced by a split coherent beam of radiation (as a laser); also: the pattern of interference itself
"You can't predict the future, but you can invent it." - Dennis Gabor
D. Gabor was born in Budapest, Hungary, and his life-long love of physics started suddenly at the age of 15.
He learned the calculus and worked through the textbook in the next two years.
With his late brother George, they also built up a little laboratory in their home, where they could repeat most experiments which were modern at that time, such as wireless X-rays and radioactivity.
He acquired his degrees in electrical engineering in High Technical School, Berlin (Diploma in 1924, Dr-Ing. in 1927).
Though electrical engineering remained his profession, his work was almost always in applied physics.
His doctorate work was the development of one of the first high speed cathode ray oscillographs.
In 1927 D. Gabor joined the Siemens & Halske AG where he made his first successful inventions; the high pressure quartz mercury lamp with superheated vapor and the molybdenum tape seal, since used in millions of street lamps.
In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Gabor left Germany and after a short period in Hungary went to England, where obtained employment with the British Thomson-Houston Co., Rugby.
The years after the war were the most fruitful. He wrote, among many others, his first papers on communication theory, developed a system of stereoscopic cinematography, and in 1948 carried out the basic experiments in holography, at that time called "wavefront reconstruction". Then, until his retirement in 1967, he improved Wilson chamber, developed holographic microscope, a new electron-velocity spectroscope, flat thin color television tube. Theoretical work included communication theory, plasma theory, magnetron theory.
In 1971 Dr. Dennis Gabor was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of holography in 1947.
But, in his own words –
“We had started 20 years too early. Only in recent years have certain auxiliary techniques developed to the point when electron holography could become a success. On the other hand, optical holography has become a world success after the invention and introduction of the laser”.
Gabor coined the term hologram from the Greek words holos, meaning "whole," and gramma, meaning "message". The term holography is from Greek words holos and grapho – “write”, that means complete record of the image.
Gabor's holography was limited to film transparencies using a mercury arc lamp as the light source. His holograms contained distortions and an extraneous twin image.
Further development in the field was stymied during the next decade because light sources available at the time were not truly "coherent" (monochromatic or one-color, from a single point, and of a single wavelength).
This barrier was overcome in 1960 with the invention of the laser, whose pure, intense light was ideal for making holograms. Laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation)was invented by Nikolai Bassov, Alexander Prokhorov and Charles Townes (all became in 1964 Noble Prize winners).
In 1962Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks of the University of Michigan recognized from their work in side-reading radar that holography could be used as a 3-D visual medium. In 1962 they read Gabor's paper and "simply out of curiosity" decided to duplicate Gabor's technique using the laser and an “off-axis technique” borrowed from their work in the development of side-reading radar. The result was the first laser transmission hologram of 3-D objects (a toy train and bird).
Also in 1962 Dr. Yuri Denisyuk combined holography with 1908 Nobel Laureate Gabriel Lippmann's work in natural color photography. Denisyuk's approach produced a white-light reflection hologram which, for the first time, could be viewed in light from an ordinary incandescent light bulb.
Russian scientist Yuri N. Denisyuk, State Optical Institute in Leningrad, USSR, signing a copy of his book, Fundamentals of Holography. (Photo by Dr. Stephen Benton, 1979)
In 1967, Larry Siebert of the Conductron Corporation used a pulsed laser that he designed to make the first hologram of a person. The Conductron Corporation (later acquired by McDonnell Douglas Electronics Corporation) played an important role in the early days of commercial display holography.
A major advance in display holography occurred in 1968 when Dr. Stephen A. Benton invented white-light transmission holography while researching holographic television at Polaroid Research Laboratories. This type of hologram can be viewed in ordinary white light creating a "rainbow" image from the seven colors which make up white light.
In 1972Lloyd Cross developed the integral hologram by combining white-light transmission holography with conventional cinematography to produce moving 3-dimensional images. Sequential frames of 2-D motion-picture footage of a rotating subject are recorded on holographic film. When viewed, the composite images are synthesized by the human brain as a 3-D image.
Later, Cross founded The Multiplex Company that produced hundreds of images using his holographic stereogram technique.
From 1975 - 1984, Rich Rallison (International Dichromate Corp., Draper, UT) pioneered the production of glass sandwich dichromate holograms that were used as jewelry pendants, key chains, paper weights, and other premium items.
Rich Rallison recalls his experiences with Steve Benton at the Benton Vision Symposium, November, 2003.
In 1983 MasterCard International, Inc. became the first to use hologram technology in bank card security.
The using of γ –rays allows precise atomic and molecular structural analysis: