How 3D holograms work | Summary and Q&A

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September 15, 2015
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Physics Girl
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How 3D holograms work

TL;DR

Holograms appear 3D but are actually flat, 2D films with motion parallax and stereoscopic views.

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Key Insights

  • 🫵 Holograms are 2D films that appear 3D due to motion parallax and stereoscopic views.
  • 🫵 Unlike regular photographs, holograms display different images based on the viewer's position.
  • 😁 Coherent laser beams are crucial for creating interference patterns on holographic film, encoding 3D information.
  • 😁 Holograms offer the ability to reproduce the original object beam, providing a perfect copy of the original scene.
  • 🥳 All parts of a hologram contain information about the object, allowing for the viewing of the entire object even when a small section is observed.
  • 🎥 The holographic film looks like interference patterns up close, whereas photographic film appears as a smaller version of the image.
  • 🤙 The Tupac hologram at Coachella utilized a stage trick called Pepper's Ghost, which has been used since the 16th century.

Transcript

Holograms are confusing. They're those weird, 3D ghost images that appear to follow you as you move. But they're are actually completely flat, 2D films. And yet they have motion parallax. That is, as you move your gaze, things in the foreground seem to shift faster than things in the background. And they give you a stereoscopic view. That is, you s... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How do holograms appear 3D even though they are flat films?

Holograms create the illusion of depth through motion parallax, where foreground objects appear to shift faster than background objects, and stereoscopic views, which present different images to each eye, creating a perception of depth.

Q: What differentiates holograms from 3D movies?

Holograms offer motion parallax, stereoscopic views, and the ability to show different images based on the viewer's position, while 3D movies only provide a simulated sense of depth without these additional features.

Q: How are holograms created?

Holograms are made by splitting a laser beam into two, with one beam reflecting off the object being imaged and the other serving as a reference beam. When the coherent laser beams meet, they create interference patterns on holographic film, encoding 3D information about the object.

Q: Can holograms show the entire object even when cut into smaller pieces?

Yes, holograms carry information about the entire object, so even a small square cut from the hologram can display the complete image. This is not possible with regular photographs.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Holograms are 3D ghost-like images that give the illusion of depth but are actually flat films with motion parallax and stereoscopic views.

  • Unlike regular photographs, holograms show different images depending on the viewer's position.

  • Holograms are created using lasers to generate interference patterns that encode 3D information onto holographic film.

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