Introduction to Holography

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ISBN 9781439818688
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  • Chronicles the historical development of holography from reflection and rainbow holography to holographic interferometry for nondestructive testing to emerging low-cost holographic sensing techniques for health care and environmental monitoring
  • Describes important applications of holography in advertising, data storage, life sciences, and nanoengineering
  • Offers an introduction to optics essential for understanding and using holography
  • Introduces additional optics and photonics material as needed
  • Presents more than 300 illustrations as well as extensive cross-referencing that emphasizes how holography is based on a relatively small number of basic principles


Over the course of its 60-year history, holography has enabled new insights into the nature of light and has contributed to innovative applications, including many unrelated to optics. Introduction to Holography explains how to use holographic techniques to solve specific problems in a variety of fields. The text focuses on the state of development of existing and emerging holographic applications. Numerical problems are provided at the end of each chapter.

After a review of essential optics, the book presents basic holographic principles. It introduces the theory of thick holograms, along with a less demanding and more insightful path to important results based on the work of Jacques Ludman. Examining the use of holography in practice, the author then describes the conditions for successful holography in the laboratory, including various lasers commonly used for holography. He also discusses recording materials and their key holographic characteristics. The final portion of the book deals with applications of holography, including imaging, holographic interferometry, holographic optical elements, and data storage. The text also explores digital and computer-generated holography, light-in-flight and first-arriving light techniques and their applications, polarization holography, and holography for sensing applications.

Since its invention in 1948, holography has evolved into a mature technology with a wide range of applications. This practical guide to the field offers a comprehensive survey of contemporary holographic techniques and applications.

Table of Contents

Light, Waves, and Rays
Description of light waves
Spatial frequency
The equation of a plane wave
Nonplanar wavefronts
Geometrical optics
Reflection, refraction, and the Fresnel equations
Introduction to spatial filtering

Physical Optics
Diffraction and spatial Fourier transformation
Phase effect of a thin lens
Fourier transformation by a lens
Fourier transform property of a lens—a physical argument
Interference by division of amplitude
Polarized light

Introducing Holography
Introduction: difference between two spatial frequencies
Recording and reconstruction of a simple diffraction grating
Generalized recording and reconstruction
A short history of holography
Simple theory of holography
Phase conjugacy
Phase holograms

Volume Holography
Volume holography and coupled-wave theory
Characteristics of thick holographic gratings
Rigorous coupled-wave theory
A simpler approach

Requirements for Holography
The Michelson interferometer
The Fabry–Perot interferometer, etalon, and cavity
Stimulated emission and the optical amplifier
Laser systems
Q-switched lasers
Frequency doubled lasers
Mode locking of lasers
Spatial coherence of lasers
Laser safety
Mechanical stability
Thermal stability
Checking for stability
Resolution of the recording material

Recording Materials
Silver halide
Dichromated gelatin (DCG)
Self-processing materials
Holographic sensitivity

Recording Materials in Practice
Nonlinear effects
Grain noise
The speckle effect
Signal-to-noise ratio in holography
Experimental evaluation of holographic characteristics
Effects arising from dissimilarities between reference beams in recording and reconstruction

Holographic Displays
Single-beam holographic display
Split-beam holographic displays
Benton holograms
White light (Denisyuk) holograms
Wide field holography
Color holograms
Dynamic holographic displays
Very large format holographic displays
Quantum entanglement holography—imaging the inaccessible
Good practice in hologram recording

Other Imaging Applications
Holographic imaging of three-dimensional spaces
Further applications of phase conjugation
Multiple imaging
Total internal reflection and evanescent wave holography
Evanescent waves in diffracted light
Mass copying of holograms

Holographic Interferometry
Basic principle
Phase change due to object displacement
Fringe localization
Live fringe holographic interferometry
Frozen fringe holographic interferometry
Compensation for rigid body motion accompanying loading
Double pulse holographic interferometry
Holographic interferometry of vibrating objects
Stroboscopic methods
Holographic surface profilometry
Phase conjugate holographic interferometry
Fringe analysis
Speckle pattern interferometry

Holographic Optical Elements
Diffraction gratings
Spectral filters
Beam splitters and beam combiners
Lighting control and solar concentrators
Multiplexing and demultiplexing
Optical interconnects
Holographic projection screens
Photonic bandgap devices
Holographic polymer-dispersed liquid crystal devices

Holographic Data Storage and Information Processing
Holographic data storage capacity
Bit format and page format
Storage media
Phase-coded data
Error avoidance
Exposure scheduling
Data and image processing
Optical logic
Holographic optical neural networks
Quantum holographic data storage

Digital Holography
Spatial frequency bandwidth and sampling requirements
Recording and numerical reconstruction
Suppression of the zero-order and the twin image
Improving the resolution in digital holography
Digital holographic microscopy
Other applications of digital holography

Computer-Generated Holograms
Methods of representation
Three-dimensional objects
Optical testing
Optical traps and computer-generated holographic optical tweezers

Holography and the Behavior of Light
Theory of light-in-flight holography
Reflection and other phenomena
Extending the record
Applications of light-in-flight holography

Polarization Holography
Description of polarized light
Jones vectors and matrix notation
Stokes parameters
Photoinduced anisotropy
Transmission polarization holography
Reflection polarization holographic gratings
Photoanisotropic recording materials for polarization holography
Applications of polarization holography

Holographics Sensors and Indicators
Basic principles
Practical sensors and indicators
Sensors based on silver halide and related materials
Photopolymer-based holographic sensors and indicators
Sensing by hologram formation

Appendix A: The Fresnel–Kirchoff Integral
Appendix B: The Convolution Theorem

A Summary, References, and Problems appear at the end of each chapter.

Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"This volume reviews a wide range of holographic applications … The book is well-structured, with references and practice mathematical problems at the end of each chapter."
—Darko Vasiljevic, Optics & Photonics News (OPN), 2013

"… the execution of part 4, my favorite, is rather novel. It goes beyond discussions in existing textbooks by focusing on state-of-the-art developments of both classical and more advanced holographic applications. … the author has found a good compromise between traditional and emerging ones. … the author clearly and carefully explains the physics behind the mathematics and offers sophisticated guidance for experimental work. Problems and references for further reading are provided at the end of each chapter. Toal has written a welcome reference for experienced explorers of the holographic wonderland. … Toal’s clear presentation provides a starting point for students and other newcomers and might help orient them toward research that will uncover new explanations."
—Wolfgang Osten, Physics Today, January 2013

"This book provides an up-to-date account of holography, covering both theory and applications. Numerical problems are given at the end of each chapter to allow the readers to test their understanding of the material presented and in some cases, to supplement the material in the main text. It will undoubtedly be of use to the researcher in holography and to advanced students of the topic."
—Catherine M. Wykes, Contemporary Physics, July 2012

"The breadth of coverage of this book is remarkable, ranging from the underlying physics, to mathematical descriptions and derivations, to the experimental aspects of the art of holography."
—Joseph W. Goodman, Stanford University

"The structure and approach of the book are excellent. It goes from basic and general concepts in optics to specific devices, systems and examples. The presentation is very clear and easy to understand. Each topic is accompanied with proper figures and is explained very well. The mathematics is at a level appropriate for students in physics or engineering. … a great inspiration for any researcher in the area of signal processing."
—Joseph Rosen, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

"In addition to covering the standard formalism of conventional and digital holography, Introduction to Holography presents such up-and-coming techniques as holographic optical trapping and holographic video microscopy … a timely book and a very good introduction to the present state of the discipline."
—David G. Grier, New York University

"This is a complete treatise on holography, covering the background optics, the basic principles, the practice and many applications of holograms. With its extensive references to the original literature and homework problems, it is the perfect textbook for a course on holography. I thoroughly recommend it to both students and experienced practitioners of the subject."
—Chris Dainty, National University of Ireland, Galway

"Vincent Toal provides a detailed technical overview of holography that should be regarded as essential reading for those involved with photonics, a primary reference worth purchasing."
—Martin Richardson, DeMontfort University, Leicester

"Introduction to Holography is a lucid introductory textbook for students and a valuable reference text for specialists. The author provides easy-to-follow derivations of the mathematical foundations of holography, while giving practical advice on how to implement holography for a wide variety of applications."
—David Nolte, Purdue University