CREATION OF SIMPLE HOLOGRAMS. Karl Fey, Harold Metcalf and John Noe, Laser Teaching Center, Department of Physics and Astronomy, SUNY at Stony Brook.

I conducted experiments on how holograms can be produced using a simple single-beam setup with a diode laser light source. Holography is a way of precisely recording both the amplitude and phase of a wavefront of light reflected off an object by creating an interference pattern on holographic films or plates. This interference pattern creates what appears to the eye as a virtual three-dimensional reconstruction of the object. Holography has practical applications in fields as diverse as holographic interferometry, data storage, art, advertising, and security.

Because holograms store precise information, they are extremely sensitive to vibrations as small as a wavelength of light, only about 650 nanometers, during the exposure. In my setups I used a standard optical table and silence to prevent as much vibration as possible. Tests of the table stability with a Michelson interferometer showed considerable residual vibration, but this didn't prevent obtaining recognizable holograms. I obtained the essential equipment and supplies I used from the Integraf company in Illinois. The laser was a 5 mW diode laser without any collimating lens; this gave a convenient beam divergence of about 10 x 60 degrees. After exposures of 5-20 seconds, I developed the "Slavich" PFG-01 holographic plates in much the same way as a photograph using a working solution of catechol, ascorbic acid, sodium sulfite, urea, sodium carbonate, and distilled water. I also used a bleaching solution of potassium dichromate, sodium bisulfate and distilled water. I created both a white light reflection hologram and a transmission hologram with this basic setup and processing tools. The holograms were marginally successful, clearly displaying a dim partial image of the object. Further improvements in vibration control, exposure and developing should give better results.

This study was supported by Simons Grant No. 265210.

Karl Fey 3-August-2000