What’s next for the world of digital holograms?

Hologram
© iStock/Capuski

Holograms still seem to be a thing of science fiction; however, scientist say it will soon become invaluable in fields such as medicine and astronomy.

Digital holography describes the procurement and processing of 3D information using digital cameras. It already has a wide practical application. Scientists claim it will be crucial in many areas, ranging from medicine to astronomy.

What are the physical principles of holography?

Holography is a method of recording information about an object and restoring its image on a three-dimensional surface by measuring not only the amplitude of light (as in photography), but also its phase.

“The extensive development of digital holography has recently begun with the advent of high-quality digital cameras, but several impressive results have already been obtained”, an associate professor at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Pavel Cheryomkhin, explained.

Recording holograms is done by registering the total amplitude of two light beams: a signal beam (reflected from the object or passed through it) and a reference beam. If the beams are coherent, an image is formed in the plane of their superimposition, which is recorded by photodetectors.

What’s trending in the world of holography?

Digital holography permits individuals to create a real three-dimensional visualisation of objects and scenes. No special glasses or positioning of the observer is required for observation of the hologram. 3D displays are being actively built, enabling high-quality images to be visualised. Scientists say that soon full-colour hologram images will come close to photos in terms of the quality of colour rendering.

Holography-based 3D printing is a promising trend. The image is divided into projections by sections, and then each projection is printed in layers under programme control.

The fields of digital holography applicable in scientific and applied research are being actively developed: digital holographic microscopy (DHM) and interferometric microscopy.

Moreover, digital holography is already being widely used in medical and biological imaging, data encryption, transmission and storage systems, as well as making it possible to increase the security of products, banknotes, and bank cards.

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