Making Laser Pointer Holograms

My magical journey of making holograms with a $7.99 laser pointer and inexpensive laser diodes.

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Laser Pointer Holography

Welcome. You are on what was once the hottest web page in the world for holography. Working along with my good friends Steve Michael, and the late Sam Savage, we shook the entire field of lasers and holography by creating holograms with laser pointers and stand-alone DIY laser diode systems. We reported about it right here on this web page that you are reading now. It was such a shift in methodology that many of the 'experts' called it a farce, and said that it couldn't be done (several of them, however, now sell diode lasers for holography). It is still reverberating today throughout the world, and I continue to teach its methods in my School of Holography. Laser diode display holography was not developed in a professional laboratory. It was developed in three basements. Therefore, it was (and remains) the perfect example of trickle up science and technology.

August 2015 Update:As the 15th anniversary of this work approaches, we now see in hindsight the economic threat this had on the big business gas laser industry at the time. Not just with laser pointers taking the place of low-power gas lasers, but also with higher power diodes taking the place of the astronomically expensive higher power gas lasers. The tremendous shift that was about to occur was revolutionary in its scope, if not its economic impact. And, to this day, holography has never been the same.

The following web pages contain the original progress reports and photos. It all begins at the end of 1998 with a laser pointer, and concludes at the end of 1999 with a 25mW DIY diode system. Within one year, nothing in holography would ever be the same again. You'll also find laser pointer podcasts, including audio interviews between me, Steve, and Sam, in the HoloTalk Archive.

Choose a specific page of interest, or go from page-to-page.

An introduction to the process, including how it all began.

First Test Shots
First test shots including using batteries as a power source for the laser pointer.

Multiple Color Holography
Creating a multi-color reflection hologram using a $7.99 laser pointer.

Alternate Materials
First test using materials other than AGFA for creating these holograms. Great results with BB-Plates from Germany.

Larger Format Holograms
A successful 8 x 10-inch hologram using a $7.99 laser pointer. This hologram exhibits depth going back to 8 inches.

First Workshop Hologram
Students from the New York area make their own laser pointer holograms at my studio.

Necklace Hologram
A beautiful hologram using an overhead reference beam with the $7.99 laser pointer.

AC/DC Power
Test shot using an inexpensive AC/DC power supply to eliminate the need to buy batteries for the pointer.

Solar Power
Hologram created using the $7.99 laser pointer getting power from a photovoltaic cell located outside my studio window.

10mW Tests
Moving up in power from the laser pointer to a 10mW diode module.

Shoebox Holography System
A new system I've developed to create holograms. The entire system fits into the area the size of a shoebox. Great for teachers, students, science fairs, demo's, etc.

Hologram Portraits
Learn how to inexpensively do hologram portraits of people for fun and profit.

15mW Diode Test
A successful hologram created with a higher-powered, inexpensive, 15mW laser diode module.

35mW Diode Test
The most beautiful hologram yet, using a 35mW laser diode module. This inexpensive laser diode module replaces a $7,000 HeNe laser!

Home Built 25mW Laser
Success in building an ultra-stable, 25mW diode Laser assembly -- with custom-designed electronics for great holographic recording.

School of Holography

"Science is the study of the physical manifestations of God in action."
Frank DeFreitas / 610-434-8236.