Hologram chamber

Our hardworking web-developer threw away his usual working tools. Previously we introduced Timo when he finished a big step in the process of renewing our website. This time, he abandoned the computer keyboard for a while and grabbed some wood to build a physical object instead of a website!

Recently we have participated in Steno Museum’s autumn vacation exhibition. During a whole week, the Danish museum welcomed kids and their families and introduced them to science in an interactive and playful manner. Embracing the challenge of catching children’s attention, we wanted to more than show our games. Something visually appealing, futuristic…almost tangible! A 3D hologram of a filament from our latest game, Turbulence!

Hologram gif

To learn more about the DIY project and how to build a hologram chamber, we are talking with the creator: Timo von Eitzen!

How did the idea come to build a ScienceAtHome hologram?
Timo: “I’ve seen some colleagues playing around with hologram pyramids. It caught my attention and made some research about it; how does it actually work? Then, I thought I could actually build one for more professional use than just in-house entertainment.”

It is not your ordinary working area. Why did you volunteer to build it?
T: “I love doing wood-work in my spare time. Recently, a company peaked my interest, which builds this kind of hologram stands for commercial applications. I saw this as a chance to get away from my usual digital work and produce something for ScienceAtHome, that could bring a more tangible value.”

So, what were you actually building? Could you explain how does it work?
T: “It consists of a light-reflecting pyramid, held in place by a stand around it. I didn’t actually build the pyramid. It was made based on our measurements at Aarhus University. At my home workshop, I’ve built the stand around it. The working mechanism is a lot simpler than most people would assume. There is a screen on the top of the pyramid, which projects three images down to the pyramid and reflects outwards. So, people are seeing a 3D hologram. It is essentially an illusion of light.”

Hologram chamber in working progress

Hologram chamber in working progress

Sounds straightforward. Have you encountered any challenges?
T: “The biggest challenge was the deadline! I was initially planning to build it at the weekend before the exhibition in Steno Museum. However, the pyramid from AU was late. At the end, I could only start building it on a Tuesday and had to be ready for the museum on Thursday the same week. It was only two days! It was really tight to finish on time. The paint had barely dried about an hour before I delivered it!”

After the rushed work, how was the exhibition? How did the kids react to it?
T: “Kids were running up to the hologram and they were trying to touch it. It was meant to be a sort of art piece, therefore non-tangible. However, the whole event setting was an interactive exhibition, so the kids put their fingerprints on everything. I felt like the grumpy old guy there, cleaning the plexiglass. Most people, especially the adults were just curious to see it and wondering what was that. Those who didn’t know Turbulence beforehand, they had no idea what that moving shape was. It caught their eyes and attention to learn more about Turbulence.”

What is the future of the hologram? Are there any plans?
T: “For the first time, there wasn’t time to make a proper stand for this construction, so that’s what I'm building right now. It needs a proper table to stand on. We hope to use it for various events in the future. In Steno Museum it was used to show different filaments from our latest game, Turbulence. However, in the future, it could be very well used for Quantum Moves or Potential Penguin. There are many possibilities starting from serious matters as quantum particles to funny things as a penguin to raise children’s scientific interest. In between events, it will be exhibited in the hallway at Aarhus University, nearby ScienceAtHome offices.”

Thanks to Timo’s spare-time talent, we are having not only a nice website but an eye-catchy hologram for exhibitions! Did you get interested in hologram technology? Check out this video! With a tiny bit of flair for DIY, you can build your own hologram pyramid!

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Hologram chamber
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