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Holography is a technique which enables three-dimensional images to be made. It involves the use of a laser, interference, diffraction, light intensity recording and suitable illumination of the recording. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the object were still present, thus making the image appear three-dimensional.

The holographic recording itself is not an image; it consists of an apparently random structure of either varying intensity, density or profile. The development of the laser enabled the first practical optical holograms that recorded 3D objects to be made in 1962 by Yuri Denisyuk in the Soviet Union[5] and by Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks at the University of Michigan, USA.[6] Early holograms used silver halide photographic emulsions as the recording medium. They were not very efficient as the grating produced absorbed much of the incident light. Various methods of converting the variation in transmission to a variation in refractive index (known as "bleaching") were developed which enabled much more efficient holograms to be produced.

Emmett Leith (March 12, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan – December 23, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan and, with Juris Upatnieks of the University of Michigan, the co-inventor of three-dimensional holography.

Leith received his B.S. in physics from Wayne State University in 1949 and his M.S. in physics in 1952. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Wayne State in 1978. Much of Leith's holographic work was an outgrowth of his research on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) performed while a member of the Radar Laboratory of the University of Michigan's Willow Run Laboratory beginning in 1952. Leith joined the University of Michigan as a research assistant and was promoted to graduate research assistant in 1955, research associate in 1956, research engineer in 1960, associate professor in 1965, and full professor in 1968.

Professor Leith and his coworker Juris Upatnieks at the University of Michigan displayed the world's first three-dimensional hologram at a conference of the Optical Society of America in 1964. He received the 1960 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award and the Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1969. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter awarded Leith with the National Medal of Science for his research. He was awarded the 1985 Frederic Ives Medal by the OSA.

Juris Upatnieks (born 7 May 1936 in Riga) is a Latvian-American physicist and inventor, and pioneer in the field of holography.

Upatnieks fled the Soviet occupation of Latvia with his parents at the close of World War II, seeking asylum in Germany. In 1951 the family emigrated to the United States. He attended high school in Akron, Ohio, and studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Akron, where he was awarded a Bachelor Degree in 1960. Thereafter he studied at the Institute of Science and Technology of the University of Michigan, where he earned a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1965. From 1973 to 1993 he worked at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan and was an Adjunct Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There he taught a laboratory course in optics until 1996. From 1993 to 2001 he was a consultant with Applied Optics in Ann Arbor. From 1996 to 2001 he was also a researcher with the faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Michigan.

In 1964 he demonstrated, with Emmett Leith, the first three-dimensional holograms in the United States and together with Leith published a series of technical papers from 1962 to 1964.

As of 2009 Upatnieks holds 19 Patents. Among them is an holographic gunsight. In 1975 he received the R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America and 1976 the Holley Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was named "Inventor of the Year" in 1976 by the American Association for the Advancement of Invention and Innovation. He is a member of the Optical Society and of International Society for Optical Engineering, as well as a member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, whose Great Medal he received in 1999.

(Wikipedia: holography, Leith, Upatnieks)

Emmett Leith & Juris Upatnieks

Co-Inventors of Holography