A new type of hologram harnesses a quantum effect and uses ordinary light to make 3-D still images. Future 3-D displays based on this technology would have no need for 3-D glasses or special screens.
The technique is based on the behavior of free electrons on a metal surface, according to researchers at the RIKEN Institute in Japan.
A typical hologram is essentially a light-wave pattern, which is made by bouncing laser light off an object and onto a photographic plate. Shining light onto the etched pattern re-creates the image. But most holograms, like those on credit cards, either show up as a single-color 3-D image or change color depending on the angle at which you observe them.
The new method uses the diffraction of excited electrons that propagate on a metal surface, according to Satoshi Kawata, co-author of a paper on the technique published today in the journal Science. Thin metal films contain free electrons, not bound to any atoms, which get excited when they interact with incoming photons. These oscillating electrons, called surface plasmons, emit a specific wavelength of colored light.
Depending on the angle of the incoming photons, different plasmons were excited, emitting different colors of light. The researchers bounced that colored light off an etched surface, creating a hologram that shows the same colors no matter the angle, just like the original object.
"Inside the brain we reconstruct 3-D, so it's sort of an illusion," Kawata said.
The plasmonic holograph is no illusion, he said — it's a virtual image in 3-D full color.
The technique is relatively simple, according to Science, and could conceivably be used to make new glasses-free displays for still and moving images.
So after reading about oscillating electrons, and suface plasmons. I've decided that magic is a more likely answer.
Incredible! Yet much more simpler than people thought!
Can you imagine the porn on this? For sure it will not beat the real thing ;) Some natural things will remain the same no matter the technology.
I'd like to ask how this can be used for animated displays. If the plates need to be etched, you can't really change the images on them in real-time.
-IMP ;) :)
but it's only so long until you CAN change the plates in real time, like a projector. do you know how long it was from when pictures (not even photographs) were used, until the first motion picture? and at the exponential growth of our technological achievements, it shouldn't be long until starwarsesque holograms are a reality.
I truly thought that TRUE 3D holograms like we see in sci-fi movies would be as impossible as warp drive and time travel. With the nature of light being what it is. I guess I should stop doubting that ANYTHING is impossible. oh yeah. i forgot somebody has already "proven" that time travel is impossible using metamaterials (that was a super nerdy popsci joke fyi if you didn't get the reference)
ok i cant stop thinking "OMG! photons!" now, but anyway while earlier types of holograms used etched plates to recreate the image this method uses electrons found near a thin metal plate and can change the image and color by redirecting the light towards certain photons. the article says "Depending on the angle of the incoming photons, different plasmons were excited, emitting different colors of light." so it is entirely possible to use this method with say a special projector/bulb to emit the image correctly.