CNN claim of hologram use not true: scientist

November 8th, 2008 - 2:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 8 (IANS) A Canadian scientist has contested CNN’s claim of showing three-dimensional holograms during its coverage of the US election.CNN made this claim Tuesday night when anchor Wolf Blitzer in New York announced at 7 p.m. that he was now speaking live to the network reporter Jessica Yellin in Chicago “via hologram”.

As the fuzzy-looking reporter appeared a few feet in front of Blitzer in the studio, he said, “You are a terrific hologram”.

But these weren’t really holograms, contests Hans Jurgen Kreuzer, who teaches theoretical physics at Dalhousie University and is an expert on holography.

“They were quite sophisticated, no doubt. But I immediately said to my wife that I don’t think it has anything to do with holograms,” Kreuzer told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation network.

He said the CNN anchors were not really speaking to three-dimensional projected images, but rather empty space.

The images were simply added to what viewers saw on their screens at home, in much the same way computer-generated special effects are added to movies, claimed Kreuzer.

He said the images were actually tomograms, which are images that are captured from all sides, reconstructed by computers, and then displayed on screen.

Holograms, on the other hand, are projected into space, he added.

Though technology to produce what CNN tried to do is not far off, capturing and projecting holograms of big objects like people is still a long way off, he said.

Kreuzer said holographic images are captured and projected by using coherent light such as lasers. But a laser should be more than six feet in diameter to capture a person’s image. Which is impossible because such a light would be blinding, he said.

However, it may soon be possible to capture and project large objects using other sources of coherent light, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), he told the television network.

LEDs are considerably cheaper and safer than lasers, he explained.

“There will be some rapid development now because of the low cost of these LEDs. You can use a thousand if you want,” said Kreuzer.

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