Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Magic Mountain| A Carpathian Castle| A Mental Note Toward Literature And Opera

1892. Le Château des Carpathes (The Carpathian Castle)

"Mysterious things are occurring in a castle located near the village of Werst in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, Romania. The villagers are convinced that the Chort (devil) occupies the castle. Count Franz de Télek, a visitor traveling through the region goes to the castle to investigate the disturbances for himself when he is informed that the owner of the castle is Baron Rodolphe de Gortz. Years earlier the Baron was the Count's rival for the affections of the celebrated Italian prima donna La Stilla. The Count thought that La Stilla was dead, but he sees her image and hears her voice coming from within the castle itself."

courtesy of D. Kytasaari -


Sibiu, Romania, European Union. Cultural Capital of Europe 2007.


"Holography was invented over Easter, 1947 by Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor (1900–1979), for which he received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1971. The discovery was an unexpected result (or serendipity as Gabor would say) of research into improving electron microscopes at the British Thomson-Houston Company in Rugby, England. The British Thomson-Houston company filed a patent on 1947-12-17 (and received patent GB685286), but the field did not really advance until the development of the laser in 1960.
The first holograms which recorded 3D objects were made by Emmett Leith and Juris Upatnieks in Michigan, USA in 1963 and by Yuri Denisyuk in the Soviet Union.
There are several types of holograms that can be made. The very first holograms were "transmission holograms", which were viewed by shining laser light through them. A later refinement, the "rainbow transmission" hologram allowed viewing by white light and is commonly seen today on credit cards as a security feature and on product packaging. These versions of the rainbow transmission holograms are formed as surface relief patterns in a plastic film, and they incorporate a reflective aluminum coating which provides the light from "behind" to reconstruct their imagery. Another kind of common hologram (a Denisyuk hologram) is the true "white-light reflection hologram" which is made in such a way that the image is reconstructed naturally using light on the same side of the hologram as the viewer.
One of the most promising recent advances in the short history of holography has been the mass production of low-cost solid-state lasers — typically used by the millions in DVD recorders and other applications, but sometimes also useful for holography. These cheap, compact, solid-state lasers can compete well with the large, expensive gas lasers previously required to make holograms, and are already helping to make holography much more accessible to low-budget researchers, artists, and dedicated hobbyists.

The difference between holography and photography is best understood by considering what a black and white photograph actually is: it is a point-to-point recording of the intensity of light rays that make up an image. Each point on the photograph records just one thing, the intensity (i.e. the square of the amplitude of the electric field) of the light wave that illuminates that particular point. In the case of a colour photograph, slightly more information is recorded (in effect the image is recorded three times viewed through three different colour filters), which allows a limited reconstruction of the wavelength of the light, and thus its color.
However, the light which makes up a real scene is not only specified by its amplitude and wavelength, but also by its phase. In a photograph, the phase of the light from the original scene is lost, and with it the three-dimensional effect. In a hologram, information from both the intensity and the phase is recorded. When illuminating the hologram with the appropriate light, it diffracts part of it into exactly the same wave (up to a constant phase shift invisible to our eyes) which emanated from the original scene, thus retaining the three-dimensional appearance. Although colour holograms are possible, in most cases the holograms are recorded monochromatically." (Wikipedia)


The phonograph, or gramophone, was the most common device for playing recorded sound from the 1870s through the 1980s. (Wikipedia)


Mike and Doug Starn, Brooklyn, New York, United States

Doug and Mike Starn have spent much of the past five years exploring civilization’s scientific and spiritual attraction to light.

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Hologram/photo credit: (c) Varga Miklós, Budapest, Hungary, European Union. All rights reserved. With thanks.


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