Researchers create 'true' 3D holograms by trapping particles

From Engadget - January 25, 2018

The team used something called an "Optical Trap Display" to create the volumetric images. The difficulty with holograms so far is that you need something to reflect the laser light so your eyes can see it. BYU's device uses lasers to trap a a tiny particle in free space, and can force it to move in a path, much like how electromagnets deflect the electron beam in a CRT television. Other blue, red and green lasers then illuminate it. If the particle moves fast enough, it creates the illusion of a solid, animated holographic image.

"A single point was dragged sequentially through all these image points, and as it did, it scattered light," said Smalley in a video (below). "And the accumulated effect of all that scattering and moving was to create this 3D image in space that is visible from all angles."

The researchers say the system is the first to create a floating, animated images that you can actually interact with. The video shows various shots of the researchers placing their fingers under some of the generated images, for example.


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