Introduction to Holography Course by William R. Alschuler - Spring 2023

Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object and then presents it in a way that appears three-dimensional. This process involves the use of lasers to illuminate the subject and to record its image. Unlike traditional photography, which captures a two-dimensional image, holography captures the light field emitted by an object. This is achieved by recording the interference pattern between two light beams: the reference beam and the object beam, which reflects off the subject.

Procedure used in my holograms:
Adjust the laser beam to ensure that the laser beam will reflect off the object and onto the film.
Block the laser.
Set up the holographic film and the object.
Wait 3 minutes for the object  to settle.
Lift the laser cover for 30 seconds while still blocking the laser beam.
Unblock the laser beam to expose the holographic film and object to the laser for about 9 seconds.
Remove the film and immediately develop it in the developer solution.
Rinse the film thoroughly with water.
Squeegee and dry the film.
Rinse the film thoroughly with water and place it in the bleach solution until it’s completely clear.
Rinse the film again with water and let it dry in a dust-free area.
Inspect the hologram for quality and clarity.
Submerge the film in photoflo for 3 minutes.

This course profoundly expanded my understanding and appreciation of both the art and science behind holography. This course has been a comprehensive exploration into not only the techniques of producing holograms that can be viewed in white light but also the underlying principles that make such stunning 3D images possible.

The course began with an introduction to stereoscopic imaging techniques, grounding our understanding of human perception and its application in holography. We delved into the photographic process, and the principles of geometrical, wave, and quantum optics, crucial for understanding how lasers and coherent light sources contribute to holography. Learning the history of holography connected us to the field's evolution, enriching our appreciation for its advancements. Hands-on practice in holographic and non-holographic stereo photography practices honed our skills, enabling us to critically evaluate 3D imaging technologies.

Hologram setup sketches 

Single beam reflection (our setup)

Split beam transmission setup

Denis Gabor holography proof of concept experiment in 1947

The course  covered the science behind stereoscopic vision, the significance of atomic spectra, and the techniques in photography and holography. Equipped with knowledge and skills, we emerged ready to set up our holographic laboratories and continue exploring the potentials of  3D imaging. This course ignited my passion for further exploration and innovation in holography.