holograms under microscopes

3-D Laser Holograms under Microscopes


Hello. My name is Frank DeFreitas.

The main focus of this web page is to promote the use of analogue 3-D laser holograms with stereoscopic microscopes. This is not a difficult task. If you have already made simple, single-beam reflection holograms at home or school, you are already 90% there. The remaining 10% of necessary tasks consist of the proper recording and reconstruction geometry to match your microscope (depending on the stereo microscope that you are going to use).

Bullet Shell Hologram under Microscope
(above photo): This looks like a bullet shell is being examined under this microscope. There is not bullet shell there at all … it is a 3D laser holographic image. It acts as if the actual shell were really there.

Real Bullet Shell cannot be distinguished from the holographic image of it
(above photo): The "real" bullet shell (left) cannot be distinguished from the holographic image of it (right). The holograms is just as dimensional as the actual object.

3D holographic image as seen under the microscope (not 3D here on your screen)
(above photo): 3D holographic image as seen through the microscope.

There are many methods in which holography has made inroads into microscopy. After all, the original intent of inventor Dr. Dennis Gabor was the improvement of the electron microscope. There are also many current-day methods which are being touted as "digital holographic microscopy" and so on. Also remember, lenses can be made into holograms as well … and they will continue to function as if they were the original lenses!

Shroud of Turin Holograms
(above photo): Proof-of-concept: Holograms can be made of the Shroud of Turin fabric, duplicated, then sent for 3D visual examination around the world … without ever touching the actual Shroud.

For our purposes here, I have been creating what I term "microscope slide holograms" for several years now. These holograms can be placed under any standard stereo microscope and examined as if the object recorded is there once again. In full 3-dimensional fidelity. Of course, the object isn't there at all … its a hologram. And since holograms can be duplicated, any rare specimen -- even if it is the only one of its kind in the world -- can be sent to labs around the world for visual 3D inspection.

Also remember that holograms are recorded onto thin film. This means that objects too large for many microscopes can be recorded and viewed -- since the object is not "there" anymore. Only the thin film containing the 3D laser holographic image of the object needs to go under the microscope.

Ancient Coin Hologram under Microscope
(above photo): This ancient Lepton coin is shown both as the "real" coin (left) and as the 3D laser hologram of the coin (right) under a stereo microscope. There is barely a difference in either quality or dimension.

In addition to the microscope slide holograms -- which contain a 3D laser recording of the object -- I also create nano holograms which also contain all of the necessary enlarging optics embedded within the hologram itself. In other words, the microscope is inside the hologram. With this type of hologram, no microscope is needed at all … since the optics that are normally found within a microscope are contained within the flat film of the hologram -- in 3-dimensional space. This is possible due to the hologram being able to store 3-dimensional information about the objects themselves. So a hologram containing a series of lenses functions the same as the real series of lenses used to record the hologram.

entire bible on a small hologram
(above photo): Holograms can also contain the magnification optics embedded along with the object being reconstructed. Here is an entire King James Bible, smaller than a postage stamp, being projected onto a piece of white paper.

All-in-all, this sounds a bit more complex than it really is. Over time, in late 2017 or early 2018, I will be adding videos to this web page, along with a powerpoint presentation.

This hologram was sent through the mail under a postage stamp.
(above photo): This stealth micro hologram was sent through the mail under a postage stamp. After being cut out upon arrival, it could only be read with the proper laser light and reconstruction geometry. This hologram not only contains the image or text recorded, it also contains the optics necessary for magnification.

Until I add the videos, please enjoy a series of photographs (above and below) showing several of the projects that I have worked on recently.

wonders of the bible exhibit display

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Additional Reading:

1. Johnston, S.F. (2005) From white elephant to Nobel Prize: Dennis Gabor’s wavefront reconstruction. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 36(1):pp. 35-70.

Frank DeFreitas 2016 My name is Frank DeFreitas ...
After a lifetime of service with lasers and holograms, I spend my time caring for my historical archives and welcoming the occasional visitor from around the world. Officially retired, I now have time to work on my own projects, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge, experience and enthusiasm through speaking engagements and presentations. I am in the Allentown, Pennsylvania area, but I can travel with educational displays. Contact (USA): 484-387-5320. My full bio page is here.

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