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Science Technology

Holograms That Don't Change Color As You Move 31

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-only-we-could-make-peace-with-the-plasmons dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Wired: "By harnessing the power of tiny waves dancing in an electron sea, Japanese physicists have developed a novel way to project holograms that don't change color when you move your head. 'In a conventional hologram, if you change the angle, the color changes,' said optical physicist Satoshi Kawata of Osaka University in Japan. 'Our hologram shows natural color at any angle you observe.' The researchers’ machine takes advantage of how beams of light trigger waves of activity in free electrons, unattached to any atom, arrayed on a metal surface. Called surface plasmons, these waves could be used to blast cancer cells and build ultra-fast computer processors. They also show up in medieval stained glass windows, where plasmons on flecks of gold suspended in the glass make the window change color as the sun sets."
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Holograms That Don't Change Color As You Move

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  • These colour changing holograms were amusing for the first 5 years, now they wear on me. Nice to see something other than nuclear disaster coming out of Japan.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by clang_jangle (975789)
      This is pretty cool though, if it's as good as they're claiming. Maybe soon we'll have genuine 3D equipment that doesn't require headache-inducing tricks to render 3D. I'd be all for that, it'd be killer!
      • Re:It's about time.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ackthpt (218170) on Friday April 08, 2011 @06:18PM (#35763716) Homepage Journal

        This is pretty cool though, if it's as good as they're claiming. Maybe soon we'll have genuine 3D equipment that doesn't require headache-inducing tricks to render 3D. I'd be all for that, it'd be killer!

        Considering it requires a backlight, I'm not so sure it's very practical. Also, 230nm thick, the first hurled Jujube would puncture it. Also, that's not a very sharp image. I wonder if they can improve the detail with different materials or that's it.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          I can see great great papa ackthpt talking to Alexander Graham Bell about the telephone....

          Considering it requires electricity I'm not sure how practical it is. Also, how can you connect to more than one other person. Also, the sound is very poor. I wonder if they can improve the quality with different materials or that's it. ;)
      • Re:It's about time.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jezza (39441) on Friday April 08, 2011 @06:51PM (#35763930)

        The reason 3D *can** cause headaches seems to be because the 3D is fooling the brain into thinking the focus is should be shifted, when the focus is fixed. In "normal" 3D (what we normally perceive) if your gaze moves to an object at a different distance then your eye must refocus to view it. In "artificial 3D" the focus for the whole scene is fixed (it's at the display - even objects that appear further away have their focus at the display surface). This artificially "fixed focus" is at odds with what we normally view and causes headaches. I don't think this will cure that problem.

        This is also why images on the new 3DS look "unnaturally clean" - everything is in focus all at once, regardless of depth. This should help, as it is an additional cue that the eye should not refocus. Additionally "dialling back" the 3D effect should also help.

        • Thanks for the explanation, I'm less excited about it now. :P
          • I lost all excitement about the 3DS when I found out it was region-locked and that it could be remote-bricked as punishment for the crime of inserting a flash cart.

        • by Cochonou (576531)
          It would seem an hologram would precisely cure that problem. You should be able to focus naturally on it, if I remember correctly how the optical waves coming from an hologram are produced.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Nice to see something other than nuclear disaster coming out of Japan.

      Eh... you might want to read the disclaimer on the back of the box.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday April 08, 2011 @06:49PM (#35763916)
    When they pry it from my glitter encrusted hands. Viva la Ponies!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do the hands contain traces of grits also?

  • by zalas (682627) on Friday April 08, 2011 @06:56PM (#35763948) Homepage

    There's nothing that requires a hologram to change colors as you change the viewing angle; it's just that there are many different techniques for generating holograms and the rainbow hologram happens to have been adopted widely in the commercial regime. Classic holograms were monochrome and required coherent illumination to see. The rainbow hologram is nice in that you can see it under white light, but suffers from color issues (obviously) and also only presents a three-dimensional view along one axis (try tilting your VISA card 90 degrees next time and the eagle should appear flat). I don't know if the exhibit is still there or not, but the MIT Museum in Cambridge had a really nice hologram exhibit with lots of different holograms. A bunch of them were full color and didn't have that rainbow effect.

    This article does make me more curious about surface plasmons, however, since I hear that mentioned a lot nowadays and don't have a very good understanding of them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Retired art holographer here, and zalas is correct, so called Rainbow Holograms are viewable in white light, and are very easy and inexpensive to produce these days (not so, when I was doing it on glass plates circa 1981).

      My Holography mentor was one of the pioneers of three color holography, and went on to start the holography program at an Art College in England.

  • These holograms are going to get medieval on your glass!

  • holodeck 50% complete. break out the synthohol because we're going to party like it's stardate 9999!

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