Explosion with a slow-burning fuse: the origins of holography in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Johnston, S.F. (2006) Explosion with a slow-burning fuse: the origins of holography in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In: Denisiuk, I.N., Suinov, V. and Stoykova, E. (eds.) Holography 2005: International Conference on Holography, Optical Recording, and Processing of Information, Varna, Bulgaria, 21-25 May 2005. Series: Proceedings of SPIE (6252). SPIE: Bellingham, Wash., USA.

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Abstract

The subject today known as holography emerged from research in three diverse locations and having distinct origins, aims and methods: at a commercial electrical laboratory in Rugby, England, from the late 1940s until the mid 1950s; at the Vavilov State Optical Institute in Leningrad from the late 1950s and again from the mid 1960s; and, from a classified research laboratory operated by the University of Michigan beginning in the mid 1950s and accelerating from the early 1960s. The scientists, engineers, artisans, entrepreneurs and companies in that third location dominated the subject through the 1960s, making Ann Arbor, for a time, the ‘holography capital of the world’. Based on extensive unpublished documents, artifacts and interviews with some two-dozen participants (much of it as yet unavailable in publicly accessible archives), this paper focuses on the origins of the subject in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It also explores how the initial explosion of interest was transmitted to other research groups, firms, artists and the wider public.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Holography, optics, physics, history, history of science, technology
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Professor Sean
Authors: Johnston, S.F.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Publisher:SPIE

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