Laser Pointer Holography
Welcome to laser pointer / diode history. You are now on what was once the hottest web page in the world for holography. Working along with my good holo friends Steve Michael, and the late Sam Savage, we shook the entire field of lasers and holography by creating holograms with laser pointers, and stand-alone higher-power DIY laser diode systems.
Back in 1998, we reported and posted updates about it right here on this web page that you are reading now (prior to August 2018, it was located at holoworld.com). It was such a shift in methodology that many of the 'experts' called it a fake, and said that it couldn't be done (several of them, however, now sell diode lasers for holography). It is still reverberating today throughout the world, and I continue to teach its methods in my School of Holography.
It is an important part of the story to note that laser diode display holography was not researched and developed in a school of higher learning or a professional laboratory. It was researched and developed in three basements. Therefore, it was (and remains) the perfect example of trickle up science and technology, not trickle down.
August 2018 Update:As the 20th anniversary of this work approaches, we now see in hindsight the economic threat this had on the big business gas laser industry at the time. Not just with laser pointers taking the place of low-power gas lasers, but also with higher power diodes taking the place of the astronomically expensive higher power gas lasers. The tremendous shift that was about to occur was revolutionary in its scope, if not its economic impact. And, to this day, holography has never been the same.
The following table of contents contain the titles to the original progress reports that were posted. It all begins at the end of 1998 with a laser pointer, and concludes at the end of 1999 with a 25mW DIY diode system. Within one year, nothing in holography would ever be the same again. There were also laser pointer podcasts, including audio interviews between me, Steve, and Sam. For now, please feel free to enjoy our step-by-step, table of content listing, although the links are no longer active.
(Original) TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Please note that links are no longer active.
An introduction to the process, including how it all began.
First Test Shots
First test shots including using batteries as a power source for the laser pointer.
Multiple Color Holography
Creating a multi-color reflection hologram using a $7.99 laser pointer.
First test using materials other than AGFA for creating these holograms. Great results with BB-Plates from Germany.
Larger Format Holograms
A successful 8 x 10-inch hologram using a $7.99 laser pointer. This hologram exhibits depth going back to 8 inches.
First Workshop Hologram
Students from the New York area make their own laser pointer holograms at my studio.
A beautiful hologram using an overhead reference beam with the $7.99 laser pointer.
Test shot using an inexpensive AC/DC power supply to eliminate the need to buy batteries for the pointer.
Hologram created using the $7.99 laser pointer getting power from a photovoltaic cell located outside my studio window.
Moving up in power from the laser pointer to a 10mW diode module.
Shoebox Holography System
A new system I've developed to create holograms. The entire system fits into the area the size of a shoebox. Great for teachers, students, science fairs, demo's, etc.
Learn how to inexpensively do hologram portraits of people for fun and profit.
15mW Diode Test
A successful hologram created with a higher-powered, inexpensive, 15mW laser diode module.
35mW Diode Test
The most beautiful hologram yet, using a 35mW laser diode module. This inexpensive laser diode module replaces a $7,000 HeNe laser!
Home Built 25mW Laser
Success in building an ultra-stable, 25mW diode Laser assembly -- with custom-designed electronics for great holographic recording.
-- Frank DeFreitas