finished his degree. He published two papers in Russian in
1962, but they were overlooked even after being translated into
English a year later.
Crucially, Denisyuk holograms did not require coherent
light to reconstruct the image; bright white light sufficed, as
with Lippmann photography. While experimenting with new
ways of combining reference and object beams, three American
labs independently produced Denisyuk holograms within a
few months in 1965. They stumbled upon white-light reconstruction by accident. At Willow Run, Upatnieks was carrying
a developed plate back from the processing lab, which was in
another building, when he glanced down and was amazed to
see that sunlight scattered from the hologram had reconstructed an image. Only later did Leith realize that Denisyuk had
predicted white-light reconstruction.
The first round of the holographic boom focused on imaging
applications. In the summer of 1965, Matt Lehmann, Joseph
Goodman and David Jackson of Stanford University demonstrated the world’s first holographic movie, featuring steel
balls and a watch. The movie was short, and the image had to
be viewed by peering into a small black box, but it echoed the
birth of motion pictures in the late 19th century.
Yet early experiments also revealed technical problems.
Image size was limited by coherence length and optics size.
The full three-dimensional effect was visible over only a limited angle and depended on proper illumination. And holographic images glittered with laser speckle.
A major imaging advance came in 1969, when Steve Benton
invented the “rainbow” hologram at the Polaroid Corpora-
tion. Trying to produce brighter images, he decided to make
reflection holograms that displayed depth only in the horizon-
tal plane of the separation between our eyes that yields parallax
and the sense of distance.
The Nobel Prize
In October 1971, when the holographic image boom was in
full flower, Dennis Gabor received the Nobel Prize for “his
ONLINE EX TRA: To see a video of Lloyd Cross’s Kiss II
hologram, please visit www.osa-opn.org.
40 | OPN Optics & Photonics News