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Making a hologram

  1. May 15, 2010 #1
    Anyone have any experience making holograms? Where would I buy the materials? Can I make a hologram out of a picture, or does the thing I'm turning into a hologram already have to be 3 dimensional?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2010 #2


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    The main things you need are a laser, a beam splitter, and a good vibration free surface to set things up on. Oh yeah, film... do they still make that?

    Come on think about it for a second... That picture is really 3d, it does have a front and back. I carried a hologram of a hand drawn Daisy for years, until the emulsion wore off the film. I also carried a "blank" hologram that is there was no object just the image of the 2 point sources main and reference beams. This in effect was a diffraction grating in my pocket, had lots of fun with it until... the emulsion wore off film.
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  4. May 15, 2010 #3
    Does any laser work? And the beam splitter just spreads out the beam onto the entire surface of the film?
    The film was my main concern. Where do I get it? Is the film specifically for making holograms? Because if it is, where would I buy it? How often do people make their own holograms?
    So it was a daisy that was drawn onto something and the hologram was created from that?
    I have hologram cards of some sports athletes. I assume they didn't get the athlete in there and make a hologram out of the actual person, so they must have used a photo to make the hologram with.
  5. May 15, 2010 #4
    Integral - Yes! one of the funnest labs from UG - Optics!

    As I recall, the "film" was a glass plate with a relatively thick emulsion. We used a red laser and imaged a chess piece (knight?). A very thick slab of granite with all components firmly attached (source, mirrors, lenses, splitter, object, film, etc.) was used. After developing the plate, we had to view the image with the same laser light at the same angle of incidence.

    Basically, the developed emulsion contained an interference pattern created by the direct and reflected (split) light during exposure.

    And leroyjenkens; yes, your object should be three dimensional for greatest effect.
  6. May 15, 2010 #5
    There is a kit for making holograms: <http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/lights/7782/>.
  7. May 16, 2010 #6
    That's cool. I'd get that if it wasn't so expensive. But I've done some searches and the holographic film isn't cheap. And I don't know where I'd buy it at a local place. What kind of store would sell that?
    I could make it myself, but I'd probably end up poisoning myself. I'm no chemist.
  8. May 10, 2011 #7
    Those glass plates are what I used as an undergraduate. You do need a fairly stable table though. But any laser powerful enough to expose the film will work. The chemistry is as easy as developing photographs in high school.

    I did some tests with regular film and it will NOT work. The crystals are too big. Gotta get the plates.
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