Massachusetts Institute of Technology / MIT Museum
Building N51 265 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
Open Daily 10am – 5pm / Closed Major Holidays
Luminous Windows 2010
Tea Set (1977-1978)
“Wave photography” is how the late Russian physicist Yuri Denisyuk described his 1962 invention that uses lightwave interference to record three-dimensional images. He developed his technique independent of Dennis Gabor’s ‘holography’, invention of 1947. Denisyuk’s thinking and technique were distinct, resulting in the first 3-D images viewed with ordinary white light instead of laser light. White-light reflection holograms became a popular way to display priceless Russian museum treasures in traveling exhibitions. Tea Set is an example and was presented by Denisyuk to MIT Professor Stephen Benton, the inventor of white-light transmission (“rainbow”) holography.
Seth Riskin, manager of the MIT Museum’s Emerging Technologies and Holography/Spatial Imaging Initiative explains some concepts about holography:
“Holography is the most advanced means of imaging we have. It’s “real” virtual reality—true 3-D without the material—and it represents how the human brain and light information interact to create the experience of three-dimensional space.
Holography is like photography in that light information is recorded in photosensitive film. In other ways, however, a hologram is significantly different. A hologram is a recording of the light wavefront interference pattern reflected by an object. This record then functions as an optic: when light is projected through the hologram, the light wavefront interference pattern of the original object is reconstructed and this, the brain interprets as 3-D.