The art of holography involves reproduction of images in a 3D form, by capturing the light scattered around them. Light waves get scattered on reflection from an object's surface. If these waves are captured in an image, the picture of that object appears as if it's being viewed in real time. The holographic processes are commonly used to store and retrieve data, and garner information after processing it. Bar code stickers for confidentiality in exams, credit cards, and holographic artworks are some of the most common applications of holograms. It is possible to make one with minimum infrastructure and few logistical requirements. Homemade ones do not require much equipment, and can be made using easy techniques. Designing one requires a lot of patience and precise application.
A standard hologram can be made in the following way by using a laser beam. This technique involves some common things like sand, bowls, clips, a holographic kit, and a dark and quiet room. In a dark room, which is also free from noise, air flow, or any vibrations, keep ready all the above mentioned requirements. You can use the concrete floor to lay your equipment, or use a vibration resistant and sturdy table.
♦ The subject whose holographic image is to be created must be a hard object, preferably in white color. Even the slightest of movements or vibrations may distort this image. Maintaining absolute silence in the room is also very important. The object can be placed on a simple pad, like the one used for a computer mouse to dampen or nullify the effect of even the smallest movements.
♦ Choose a laser that is especially designed for stable operations, right polarization, power, and coherence length requirement. A tested laser for holograms is different from the conventional lasers pointers. Take proper precautions in handling all the apparatus. Children should not experiment with the procedure, and if necessary, should attempt it under complete adult guidance.
♦ Place the object on the table, and adjust the laser about 30 to 40 cm. away from the it. You can stabilize the laser by gripping it in a crocodile clip or clothes pin. This arrangement can be supported in a bowl of sand or salt to avoid any vibrations from affecting the setup.
♦ If the laser has an arrangement for adjustment of the light focus, use it to spread the beam horizontally in an elliptical pattern. Alternatively, this can be done by placing a glass between the object and the laser with a similar arrangement, as the one used for the laser. The laser should fully lighten up the object and a small area around it.
♦ Turn off all the lights in the room, and create a small opening in the door to allow a little visibility for yourself. The light should be adequately faded, such that you are just able to see, but not read.
♦ Block the laser light from reaching the object, by means of a book that can act as a shutter. Carefully, remove the glass holographic plate from the kit, and keep it in a leaning position against the object, such that it blocks the object from direct exposure of the beam. Allow any vibrations to settle down, and lift the book only about an inch off the table.
♦ When all vibrations subside, remove the book completely, and allow the laser to fall on the holographic plate, implicitly the object, for approximately 10 seconds. After this, block the light again by bringing the book in its original position.
♦ Process the plate according to the instruction manual given in the kit, and dry it in such a manner, that heat and light shouldn't affect the drying process. The hologram is ready to be viewed on the plate under sunlight or flashlight.
Do not use diffused light sources like frost bulbs or lamps, and thoroughly adhere to the process. This is one of the most effective ways of making a hologram, whereby you can also earn some accolades for creativity from your acquaintances.