Japanese researchers have succeeded in projecting 3D holographic images that appear to float in midair.
If you have seen Star Wars, you will remember that on multiple occasions members of the Empire and the Republic often send messages with holograms to different locations. Well, that technology no longer seems so distant in our reality.
Scientists from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have succeeded in creating a 3D holographic film in research published in Optics Express.
The researchers used carefully crafted meta-surface nanomaterials to bend light waves in a way that no natural substance could achieve, resulting in the first true hologram record of planet Earth spinning on its axis.
To break down the laser into the pattern of a balloon, the nanomaterial has tiny flakes that are even smaller than the wavelength of the red laser light. Building that material takes time: The researchers suggest that preparing a six-minute hologram would take 800 hours. But still, they have high hopes.
“We are using a helium-neon laser as the light source, which produces a reddish holographic image,” explained Kentaro Iwami, one of the study’s lead engineers. “So the goal is to develop this to eventually produce full color. And we want it to be visible from any angle – a 3D projection of the ‘whole hemisphere.”
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