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HologramsToss a pebble in a pond -see the ripples Now drop twopebbles close together Look at what happens when the two setsof waves combine -you get a new wave When a crest and a troughmeet they cancel out and the water goes flat When two crestsmeet they produce one bigger crest When two troughs collidethey make a single deeper trough Believe it or not youvejust found a key to understanding how a hologram works But whatdo waves in a pond have to do with those amazing three-dimensional pictures How do waves make a hologram look like thereal thingIt all starts with light Without it you cant see Andmuch like the ripples in a pond light travels in waves Whenyou look at say an apple what you really see are the waves oflight reflected from it Your two eyes each see a slightlydifferent view of the apple These different views tell youabout the apples depth -its form and where it sits in relationto other objects Your brain processes this information so thatyou see the apple and the rest of the world in 3-D You canlook around objects too -if the apple is blocking the view ofan orange behind it you can just move your head to one sideThe apple seems to move out of the way so you can see theorange or even the back of the apple If that seems a bitobvious just try looking behind something in a regularphotograph You cant because the photograph cant reproducethe infinitely complicated waves of light reflected by objectsthe lens of a camera can only focus those waves into a flat 2-Dimage But a hologram can capture a 3-D image so lifelike thatyou can look around the image of the apple to an orange in thebackground -and its all thanks to the special kind of lightwaves produced by a laserNormal white light from the sun or a lightbulb is acombination of every colour of light in the spectrum -a
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