BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Holography is defined as a method of producing a three-dimensional (3D) impression, or photographic image, of an object. The recording and the image it brings to life are each referred to as holograms. The word hologram is derived from the Greek word holos, or hole, and gram, or message. Holograms were first possible when the laser was commercially available in the early 1960s. Color holograms were commonplace in the latter part of the 1980s, being made from radiation from the microwave to x-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object, and then presents it in a way that appears three-dimensional. Holograms pop up in movies such as “Star Wars” and “Iron Man,” but the technology has not quite caught up to movie magic — yet. Various types of holograms have been made over the years, including transmission holograms, which allow light to be shined through them and the image to be viewed from the side; and rainbow holograms, which are used for security purposes — on credit cards and driver’s licenses
Making a minor hologram often required a sandbox for vibration isolation, a fairly powerful and relatively expensive laser, beam splitters, some front surface mirrors and perhaps a lens or two, and developing chemicals. The equipment and conditions necessary to successfully produce a hologram put hologram beyond the means of most pre-college teachers and their students. One of the things that may have prevented science teachers and parents from having their students get involved with hologram was the chemistry needed to develop the holographic film. This is no longer a problem. “Litiholo, 1” a division of Liti Holographics, has revolutionized student-friendly hologram by coming up with a self-developing “Instant Hologram” film, making the production of holograms possible without the use of developing chemicals. And because the active components in the film are consumed during exposure, the film is no longer sensitive to light after exposure. As a consequence, the film is ready for viewing immediately after exposure. The Litiholo Hologram Kit comes with everything that’s needed to produce transmission holograms: A 5-mW, 633-nm laser diode, 20 2-x-3-in Instant Hologram film plates,2 a blue LED darkroom light, batteries, a battery holder, and even a toy car for use as an object (fig. 5). Also included in the kit are three interlocking plastic pieces that support the laser and film and hold the laser and film plate in alignment. These precision laser-cut pieces virtually eliminate relative motion between laser and film, thus increasing the chances for success. Assembly of the hologram kit is very simple. It consists of fitting together the laser mount, holographic plate holder, and spacer the three pieces of plastic mentioned previously. After inserting the laser diode in the laser mount and connecting the leads from a battery pack to the laser, one is ready to make a hologram. Transmission holograms require the use of a laser for viewing. Since students will most certainly want to share their holograms with family and friends, reflection holograms, which can be viewed with white light, may be preferable (Thompson, 2009). For an additional $34, a reflection hologram upgrade kit is available. The kit includes a “laser tower” and spacer designed to properly position the laser for making reflection holograms. As a bonus, 10 Instant Hologram film plates are included with the upgrade kit. Teachers can bring the magic of hologram into their homes and classrooms even with the relatively small film plates, as the experimentation is possible…and all without chemicals and the need for ideal conditions. Who could have ever imagined that making a hologram could be so simple? (Chiaverina, 2010)
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