How to Make a Simple Hologram

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Holography is a technique that can capture an image by recording the light scattered from it. A holographic image, called a hologram, appears 3-D, changing along with the position and orientation of the viewer. Making your own simple hologram requires some equipment and patience, but it is a great experiment to do at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Hologram subject (hard, bright, sturdy metal object is best)
  • Red holography laser (with an adjustable lens)
  • Clothespin
  • Cup of sand
  • Hardcover book
  • Professional holographic film plates
  • Holography processing kit
  • 6, 1-liter bottles of distilled water
  • 3 developing trays (3-inch-by-3-inch or larger)
  • 3 rinse trays (4-inch-by-5-inch or larger)
  • Rubber glove or tongs
  • Hair dryer
  • Place your hologram subject on a sturdy table. Use a mouse pad or other non-skid surface to reduce any vibrations.

  • Place your laser pointer about 30 cm away from the subject. Attach it to a clothespin and secure the end of the clothespin in a cup of sand.

  • Take off the adjustable lens and position the laser so that the beam can spread out horizontally in an elliptical shape.

  • Locate the subject completely in the beam of the laser.

  • Turn off the lights. Make sure that no direct light will reach the holography system.

  • Set a book between the laser beam and the subject to act like a camera shutter.

  • Lean one holographic film plate against the object.

  • Lift the book slowly from the table, waiting several seconds for vibrations to subside before lifting it all the way and exposing the holographic plate.

  • Expose it for about 10 seconds total before replacing the book between the beam and subject.

  • Follow the instructions in the holography kit to process the plate. Mix the powder photochemicals and distilled water to form the solution and bleach. Dip the plate in the developer for 20 seconds and then rinse in water for 30 seconds. Dip it in the bleach for 20 seconds and then rinse again for 30 seconds in water.

  • Set the plate up vertically and dry it with a hair dryer from at least 1 foot away.

Tips & Warnings

  • View your hologram using a projector, flashlight, or the sun.
  • Never look directly into a laser beam.

References

  • Photo Credit Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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