Introduction

Holography can be a scientist’s technical tool or a medium for artistic expression. A hologram is a three dimensional image of an object that is recorded as the interference patterns associated with waves reflecting from the object through photographic or other electronic detection methods. The most common example is the production of holograms using light waves, although sound and other electromagnetic waves can be used. Examples of holograms can be seen on credit cards, in art museums, and on magazine covers such as National Geographic. Applications of holography are numerous and include detecting faults or stress in structures, optical data storage, credit card verification systems, aviation displays, and recording accurate images of crystals for absolute identication. Students in this laboratory will learn the basic principles of holography, gain practical experience by producing a simple reflection or transmission hologram, and then complete a project that focuses on the applications of holography. The process of producing holograms demands some precision, but the experience is also a lot of fun.