Replacing Lenses with HologramsCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: September 1, 2011 09:45AM
Everyone can get sick and probably will, regardless of where they live, though the quality of treatment you get is dependent on your location. Researchers around the world put time and effort into developing cheaper ways to collect biomedical information specifically to benefit poorer nations. The Optical Society’s open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express has just published a paper on a new microscope that is smaller, light, and cheaper than the typical microscopes a medical professional would use. The key to creating the microscope was replacing the expensive and heavy lenses with hologram apparatuses. A hologram is created when light travelling through or bouncing off of a surface is interfered with is compared against a reference beam. The resulting microscope can fit in one’s hand, weighs “as much as a medium-sized banana,” and, most importantly, costs between $50 and $100 to produce. However, unlike typical microscopes, this will not produce an image for the human eye, but data to be converted into an image. A laptop or cellphone can be used for this, or an off-site server can be sent the information for processing.