28 Sep

Hologram of a Lens


Our final hologram of a lens magnifying the letters on the circuit board behind it.

If you haven’t already watched our new video, “Hologram of a Lens,” we’ve provided a link for you. If you have, well done! Now, you’re ready to learn a little bit about what went on behind the scenes.

Our “Hologram of a Lens” video was inspired by a well-known art hologram called “Digital” that was created by physicist Nick Phillips in 1978. Phillips made some pretty remarkable contributions to the world of holography, most notably his photochemical processing techniques used in making multi-color reflection holograms. Also, rumor has it that back in the 70s, The Who supplied his company, HoloCo, with lasers that had been used in some of their concerts. But, now we’re getting off topic.

When we decided to recreate our own version of “Digital” using our Litiholo Hologram Kit, the first thing we did was search for a magnifying glass that was the perfect size to use with our 2” x 3” film. We found one that was just the right size in the sewing section at Wal-Mart. The tweezers that were attached to it were just an added bonus. Next, we found a small circuit board from the inside of an old keyboard we had sitting around. Then, it was time to start playing around with the kit to find the precise set-up to get the hologram we wanted.

We ended up backing the whole laser mount up about 2 inches away from the spacer in order to get the best light coverage. Of course, we had a period of trial and error before we got what we really wanted (we even started out with a really cool brass magnifying glass, but it was so big that it magnified everything in the hologram), but even from our very first, slightly fuzzy hologram, you could see that the hologram was able to capture the magnifying properties of the lens. It was definitely motivation for perfecting our technique! Once we had everything positioned to our liking, we used a hot glue gun to glue our lens and circuit board down to a piece of black plastic. This ensured that our objects stayed completely still during exposure time. After exposing for about 5 minutes—voilà!—we had our very own hologram of a lens.

Now, we’re showing it off to all of our geeky friends, and we’re sure you’d like to too. Go ahead! Give it a shot! Make your own hologram using a lens or some other sort of optical device, post it on social media, use #litiholo, and let us see what creative holograms you’re magnifying.

Also, if you want to check out the MIT Museum Holography Collection we gave you another link, and here’s one more to take you straight to “Digital”.

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