Scientists Create Holograms Similar to the Ones in ‘Star Wars’

Claire S., Writer

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This new study scientists have learned how to manipulate tiny particles in the air to display holographic images. So far, they have only been able to make a butterfly fencing above a finger as well as a graduate student imitating Leia from Star Wars. They hope to expand this idea, making it so you can watch a show or a movie in 3D. Though holograms have been around for awhile, this is the closest they have gotten to the ones in the movie.  “The way they do it is really cool,” Curtis Broadbent, of the University of Rochester said. “You can have a circle of people stand around it and each person would be able to see it from their own perspective. And that’s not possible with a hologram.” The key to this method working is trapping and moving the particles away from possible disruptions, making it a smooth watch. Smalley, an electrical engineering professor at Brigham Young University, said that the tiny particles of light are controlled by lasers, similar to the tractor beam in Star Trek. Other versions of these have different ‘screens’ so “you can’t poke your finger into it because your fingers would get chopped off,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor V. Michael Bove, who isn’t part of the study team but was Smalley’s mentor. The device that displays this is about 1 and a half the size of a lunchbox. Right now, they can only create small holograms, but with a few more beams and a bigger space, they may be able to display holograms like a T.V, but in three dimensional.  “This method could one day be used to help guide medical procedures — as well as for entertainment”, Smalley said.

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Scientists Create Holograms Similar to the Ones in ‘Star Wars’