Friday, April 8, 2011

Quantum effect fuels colour-fast holograms

With glasses-free 3D video displays appearing in gadgets like the astonishing Nintendo 3DS, and with research into video holograms continuing apace, you could be forgiven for thinking the field of still image holograms is utterly moribund. But not a bit of it.

If you can find ways to improve still holograms, says Satoshi Kawata of the RIKEN Institute in Wako, in Japan's Saitama prefecture, you can come up with innovations that feed into better video holograms and 3D displays.

And this week, his research team reports the successful development of a still image hologram with a colourful property - achieved through the novel use of quantum effect.

The RIKEN team have altered the way a hologram is recorded and displayed to ensure that the colour of the image remains the same at all angles.

A conventional hologram is effectively an interference pattern recorded on a photographic plate when laser light bounces off an object of interest. Re-illuminating the plate causes interference that reconstructs wavefronts that appear to have scattered off the object - so it looks 3D. But its colour depends on its viewing angle.

One Per Cent: Quantum effect fuels colour-fast holograms

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