Thursday, June 5, 2008

Today In History; Dennis Gabor, Electrical Engineer/Scientist

1900: In 1947 Hungarian-born British electrical engineer Dennis Gabor invented holography, a system of lenseless, three-dimensional photography. Photographs are two dimensional; they offer a single viewpoint. In contrast, holographs are three-dimensional; they offer more than one viewpoint. When people look at a holograph, their two eyes see two different viewpoints. The brain puts the two viewpoints together, creating the perception of three dimensions, or depth.

Gabor used conventional filtered-light sources when he invented holography. The lights of the time threw either too little or too diffuse light, limiting the practical uses of holography. Holography only became commercially feasible after the invention of the laser in 1960. Gabor also researched high speed oscilloscopes, communication theory, physical optics, and television. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1971 for his invention of holography.

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