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Study Produces 3D Images That Float in 'thin Air'


A three-dimensional image that is viewable from every angle.

Brigham Young University researchers say they have developed a method to create three-dimensional volumetric projections that a viewer can walk around and see from every angle.

Credit: Brigham Young University

Researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) say they have developed a method to create a three-dimensional (3D) volumetric projection, or a 3D image that floats in air, that a viewer can walk around and see from every angle.

The researchers note they developed a free-space volumetric display platform, based on photophoretic optical trapping, that produces full-color, aerial volumetric images with 10-micron image points by persistence of vision.

The new technique uses forces conveyed by a set of near-invisible laser beams to trap a particle of cellulose and heat it evenly. This process enables the researchers to push and pull the cellulose around, while a second set of lasers projects visible light onto the particle, illuminating it as it moves through space.

"In simple terms, we're using a laser beam to trap a particle, and then we can steer the laser beam around to move the particle and create the image," says BYU's Erich Nygaard.

From BYU News (UT)
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