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Tag: holograms

Science and Magic

You’re sitting in an auditorium.  A man emerges from the side of the stage in a black tuxedo and a top hat.  He introduces himself as the Great Gregory!  He takes off his hat and shows the audience that it is empty. But wait!  He reaches in and pulls a rabbit out of the hat! OK maybe that was too basic of an example; but what are you thinking of when watching a magic trick?  Are you actively trying to figure out how the magician is accomplishing this feat?  Or are you just in awe and really want  this illusion to be real? The magician is skilled in altering reality, they understand how our senses construct the world around us.  Scientists also question reality in an effort to understand nature, and are in many ways magicians themselves!  The Science of Illusion was explored by a panel of scientists and artists… Read More

Holograms: More than just pretty pictures?

At this point, you may be wondering, “Why does MIT, a university known for driving innovation, care about and collect pretty 3D pictures?” Well, it turns out that holography has some pretty important real-world applications, such as data storage. As you probably know because you’re reading this blog, we live in an age of information. Of course, this explosion of information wouldn’t be possible without ways to quickly store and transfer large quantities of data. So far, we’ve been relying on conventional optical storage technologies (e.g. CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-Ray) to handle this need. While current storage needs are being met, storage technologies must continue to improve in order to keep pace with the rapidly increasing demand. This is where holography comes in. Although optical storage technologies have improved by leaps and bounds since the advent of CD’s (DVD’s can hold 15 times more information than CD’s and Blu-Ray discs can… Read More

Hello Holography

Are you tired of your boring old two-dimensional photographs? Ever gone through your old family photo albums and wished that you could relive some moments? Don’t despair; holograms are here! Holograms are commonly described as “3D photographs,” though the processes involved in making the two different types of photographs are quite different. Both conventional photographs and holograms are made on a flat piece of photographic film that reacts to different intensities of light, but holograms render information about the depth of the object: the object appears to literally pop out of the page. How do holograms manage to do that? When you take a conventional photograph, your camera opens the shutter to let light through to hit the film. The light that enters your camera has already hit and reflected off the object that you’re capturing. The object reflects light with different intensities (brightness) depending on the physical characteristics of… Read More