Holograms, is it possible?

I was just htinking, we all watch furure movies, and many, like Star Wars have holograms that display images in a 3d type of view, do you believe that this will one day be possible on Earth? Is such a thing currently under construction?

I’ve seen (static) holograms…

worked with static ones for a NDT(non destructive testing) course while studying. I don’t know about movings one that show movies but it could be there. Holograms have been around for a long time, the are far older than the Star Wars movies.

I’m not sure what you mean by static ones, like it holds a picture in midair?

I think I saw one that didn’t look fake in a youtube clip. It was a spinning globe hovering above something that looked almost like a trashcan.

its on a film plate, you than shine a bunch of lasers at it from different directions these beams than complete the holograph effect. like 3d without the glasses and oh so much cooler.

I have never seen one that sort of floats in mid air like the star wars ones. Its not to say the don’t exist all the ones I saw were on film plates because that was just the nature of the stuff my supervisors researched.

the first hologram were made in the late 1940’s so plenty time for innovations

Holograms do exist for a long time already, you have to look outside your monitor in real world sometimes.

The guy who discovered the principle, Danis Gabor, got Nobel Prize in 60-s if I am not mistaken.

There are several different types of holograms. Some static holograms have some similarity with Stars Wars stuff, namely they can be colorfull and in paraxial rays “hold picture in midair”. I saw real holorgams, they are to some extent similar to stereoscopic imaging in cinemas nowadays, but are much more “3D”.

The problem with digital holography is the resolution of the recording media. Basically you need a chip with pixel size of the order of a wavelength (0.5 um) to be able to make holohraphy work 100%.

Due to this limitation people use only so called inline digital holography, that is limited to simlple objects like spherical particles and thin wires.

It’s a flat image that appears to be 3d when you move it. Fair chance that you’ll find one on your cellphone battery, or perhaps on printed money.

Wikipage for good meassure.

they have been around for years but the govt declared them to be a national security issue so they cant be sold to the public. they are called volumetric displays and as far as i kno0w only the govt and hospitals are allowed to have them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volumetric_display . some were cheaper than some of the prices i’ve seen for 3dt vs and you didn’t need any glasses. i dont know what the govts logic is for not allowing public sales of them.

japanese scientists are currently working on “touchable” holograms

This is a real one. I’ve made one too, for school, only mine was on a 10x10 cm plate, and the hologram was of a tiny shin chan figurine mooning the camera. But it basically works with two different laser beams which interfere with eachother and burn the pattern, which then can be ‘retranslated’ into light by shooting the same reference laser beam at it.

I remember back in the day there was an arcade game, and we’re talkin the late 80’s early 90’s here, that was actually hologram based. I think it cost more than a quarter tho so I never played it :wink:


Stereoscopic imaging is just a static recording of binocular vision from a single point-of-view. It’s genuinely realistic as far as you don’t move your head to look from another POV, because there’s none recorded like in holography.

I’d say though that games in stereoscopic 3D offer something very similar to holography: you can view the scene from any angle by adjusting the camera with the controller. Head-tracking wouldn’t really work that well with stereoscopy unless head-mounted displays were used.

also, 3D TV transmissions shot from multiple cameras covering the whole 360 degrees should offer a viable cheaper alternative to holography in coming years.

I’m much less keen on SW midair-like holography: it surely needs some media to display on, but much too smoke may make people cough for the whole of a movie… :stuck_out_tongue:

Um, holograms have existed for decades.
Here’s a photo of one:

Here’s another:

From wikipedia:

Holography was invented in 1947 by the Hungarian-British physicist Dennis Gabor (Hungarian name: Gábor Dénes), work for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971. … The first practical optical holograms that recorded 3D objects were made in 1962 by Yuri Denisyuk in the Soviet Union and by Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks at University of Michigan, USA.

Look here:

Really, the only problems are: They do not produce shadows and will always be transparent (they are just light))
There is no way 'till now (afaik) to animate them
The depth is limited.

In theory, you could use three LCD screens with very high resolution, that are transparent usually and get darker (like those old screens that work with indirect light rather than backlight.), make them show dynamically changing wavelet patterns and then shine differently coloured lasers through them to get
a dynamically changing hologram.

On the fly, that should be very hard but you might be able to do so with prerendered movies…

Those wont have any shadows in them (shadowy parts would remain dark, making the background shine through at that position; black == transparent - also, there is no fully opaque)
And none of your senses, other than the eye (and maybe some heat detecting neural cells) would be affected by the hologram.
That’d need highly accurate fields of some sort, that maybe induct some electricity to your neurones in a way that you feel, smell and taste exactly what’s happening. - This seems rather far from happening (especially the precession part)
Hearing is easy of course: Speakers should do the job.

EDIT: Oh wait, are those old screens actually LCD? I’m not actually sure, lol…

well, it would certainly be cool to see a Star Wars-type one someday :smiley: like in Attack of the Clones, there’s a hologram of the Death Star on Geonosis… and on the Rebel ship in RotJ…

Hmm… thinking about it a bit more…
Light is a wave (that’s basically why this all works)
So… Would it be possible to gather the light and reflections in the room to do “Antilight”? (Meaning light with the exact opposite phase, so everything would effectly cancel out and you’d think, you stand in a pitch black room)
If that’s possible and it’s probably hard to do, as light additionally is polarized (which sound, where this already is practiced, isn’t), you could also add shadows to holograms. Then you could really make an entire holographic world.
Together with the rest I mentioned, one important thing remains:

Those SciFi Holograms, if they are Landscapes, seem to be pretty much unlimited in size. So, either the Enterprise uses its largest room as Holoroom (pretty much a waist of space if you ask me) or there is a way that makes you think, you move while still staying in place and actually your surrounding is, what moves. (How does that work for more than one “real” person, though?)

I don’t think it works like that at all, you’d use exotic gravitational, photonic, and quantum forces to literally distort space and thus create a much larger area (going for miles), in a room that may only be a hundred or so feet in length.:cool: