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Milestone-Proposal:Invention of Holography by Dennis Gabor

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{{Proposal|a1=Invention of Holography by Dennis Gabor|a2a=Imperial College, London|a2b=UK&RI|a3=1947 - circa 1960|a4=Gabor’s invention of holography was an unanticipated step and relied on his understanding of images in the Fourier domain.  He understood the importance of phase information, whereas previously only the magnitude spectra had been considered of any importance in the processing and reproduction of images.  With the aid of phase information, a three-dimensional reconstruction of an image is possible.  The practical realization of this concept requires a coherent light source, and therefore had to await the invention of the laser before substantial applications of holography could be achieved.  However prior to that, the invention led to improvements in electron microscopy and to new understandings and viewpoints on image processing and other forms of signal processing.   
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{{Proposal
 +
|docketid=2012-02
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|a11=Yes
 +
|a3=1947 - circa 1960
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|a1=Invention of Holography by Dennis Gabor
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|a2b=UK&RI
 +
|IEEE units paying={{IEEE Organizational Unit Paying
 +
|Unit=UK&RI Section
 +
|Senior officer name=Professor Nick Wright
 +
|Senior officer email=n.g.wright@newcastle.ac.uk
 +
}}
 +
|IEEE units arranging={{IEEE Organizational Unit Arranging
 +
|Unit=UK&RI Section
 +
|Senior officer name=Mr Roland Saam
 +
|Senior officer email=r.saam@ieee.org
 +
}}{{IEEE Organizational Unit Arranging
 +
|Unit=UK&RI Section
 +
|Senior officer name=Professor Charles Turner
 +
|Senior officer email=c.turner@ieee.org
 +
}}
 +
|IEEE sections monitoring={{IEEE Section Monitoring
 +
|Section=UK&RI Section
 +
|Section chair name=Professor Nihal Sinnadurai
 +
|Section chair email=sinnadurai@aol.com
 +
}}
 +
|Milestone proposers={{Milestone proposer
 +
|Proposer name=Peter Hill
 +
|Proposer email=p.c.j.hill@cranfield.ac.uk
 +
}}
 +
|a2a=Imperial College, London
 +
|a7=On or in the building of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ, England, UK.
 +
Dennis Gabor moved from the BTH company to the Electrical Engineering Department of Imperial College, University of London, in 1949, where he was appointed Reader in Electronics.  He was promoted to Professor of Applied Electron Physics in the same Department in 1958.
 +
|a8=Yes
 +
|a9=There is a staffed desk at the Exhibition Road entrance of Imperial College, where visitors could ask for admittance or guidance;  a walk across an open courtyard to the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building is required.
 +
|a10=Imperial College, London
 +
|a4=Gabor’s invention of holography was an unanticipated step and relied on his understanding of images in the Fourier domain.  He understood the importance of phase information, whereas previously only the magnitude spectra had been considered of any importance in the processing and reproduction of images.  With the aid of phase information, a three-dimensional reconstruction of an image is possible.  The practical realization of this concept requires a coherent light source, and therefore had to await the invention of the laser before substantial applications of holography could be achieved.  However prior to that, the invention led to improvements in electron microscopy and to new understandings and viewpoints on image processing and other forms of signal processing.   
 
At the time of the invention, Gabor evidently had a good opinion of his own achievement, and wrote in a letter to Max Born in June 1948 [9]:
 
At the time of the invention, Gabor evidently had a good opinion of his own achievement, and wrote in a letter to Max Born in June 1948 [9]:
 
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“…….  a new thing and I have no doubt that it is my luckiest find yet ….  ….. made me happier than anything I have done in the last 20 years …..
“…….  a new thing and I have no doubt that it is my luckiest find yet ….  ….. made me happier than anything I have done in the last 20 years …..|a5=The invention of holography by Gabor was in many respects ahead of other work and ideas in the processing of images, and as such was unique.   
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|a6=Full demonstration of the invention had to await the emergance of the the laser circa 1960, as processing the phase information required for the holograms depends on the availability of a coherent light source.
 +
|a5=The invention of holography by Gabor was in many respects ahead of other work and ideas in the processing of images, and as such was unique.   
 
G. Saxby [10] reports in his 1988 book that there were six and a half thousand papers on holography, of which he judged ‘….. more than a thousand … contain material of importance’.
 
G. Saxby [10] reports in his 1988 book that there were six and a half thousand papers on holography, of which he judged ‘….. more than a thousand … contain material of importance’.
 
X-ray holograms were achieved by 1987 at Lawrence Livermore laboratories, and it can be considered that some aspects of synthetic aperture radar systems have concepts in common with holography.
 
X-ray holograms were achieved by 1987 at Lawrence Livermore laboratories, and it can be considered that some aspects of synthetic aperture radar systems have concepts in common with holography.
For additional material about Gabor, his life and achievements, see also:
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For addit1.  Biography of Fellows of Royal Society.  Written by T.E. Allibone:  doi: 10.1098/rsbm.1980.0004, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 1980 26, 106-147
1.  Biography of Fellows of Royal Society.  Written by T.E. Allibone:  doi: 10.1098/rsbm.1980.0004, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 1980 26, 106-147
+
 
2.  “Dennis Gabor – Contributions to Communication Theory & Signal Processing”, by P.C.J. Hill, EUROCON 2007 proceedings.
 
2.  “Dennis Gabor – Contributions to Communication Theory & Signal Processing”, by P.C.J. Hill, EUROCON 2007 proceedings.
 
3.    http://www.best-things-in-hungary.com/nobel-prize.html#gabor
 
3.    http://www.best-things-in-hungary.com/nobel-prize.html#gabor
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9.      R.R.A. Syms ‘Practical Volume Holography’, Oxford Science Publications, Clarendon Press, 1990
 
9.      R.R.A. Syms ‘Practical Volume Holography’, Oxford Science Publications, Clarendon Press, 1990
 
10.    G. Saxby ‘Practical Holography’, Prentice Hall, 1988.   
 
10.    G. Saxby ‘Practical Holography’, Prentice Hall, 1988.   
 
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11    D. Gabor, Inventing the Future, Secker & Warburg, 1963, [and Pelican Books, London, 1964].
11    D. Gabor, Inventing the Future, Secker & Warburg, 1963, [and Pelican Books, London, 1964|a6=The invention of Holography was before its time - Gabor may not have used the term holography until much later, because ‘holograph’ had an alternative previous meaning, for a document in the handwriting of its original author.
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|submitted=Yes
 
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|a13name=UK&RI Section
His invention was many years before the invention of the laser (~1960) provided a source of sufficiently coherent light to make optical holography a practically useful and very significant technique.  However the 1947 invention itself led to a new understanding of signal processing of images, and to such ideas as the Gabor Transform and, with the Wigner Transform, was a basis for wavelets and other methods which are now widely used in digital signal processing.  Thus an important aspect of Gabor’s holography invention was the additional viewpoints that the concept brought to the field of signal processing, leading to many novel ideas.  Many of these ideas arose during his time at Imperial College.|a7=On or in the building of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ, England, UK.
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|a13section=Professor Nihal Sinnadurai
 
+
|a13position=Chairman of UK&RI Section
Dennis Gabor moved from the BTH company to the Electrical Engineering Department of Imperial College, University of London, in 1949, where he was appointed Reader in Electronics.  He was promoted to Professor of Applied Electron Physics in the same Department in 1958.|a8=Yes|a9=There is a staffed desk at the Exhibition Road entrance of Imperial College, where visitors could ask for admittance or guidance;  a walk across an open courtyard to the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building is required.|a10=Imperial College, London|a11=Yes|a12=UKRI Section, London|a13name=Professor Nihal Sinnadurai|a13section=UK&RI|a13position=Section Chairman|a13email=sinnadurai@aol.com|a14name=Professor Nick Wright|a14ou=UK&RI|a14position=Treasurer|a14email=n.g.wright@newcastle.ac.uk|a15Aname=Professor Peter Hill|a15Aemail=p.c.j.hill@cranfield.ac.uk|a15Aname2=Professor Tony Davies|a15Aemail2=tonydavies@ieee.org|a15Bname=Mr Roland Saam|a15Bemail=r.saam@ieee.org|a15Bname2=Professor Charles Turner|a15Bemail2=c.turner@ieee.org|a15Cname=Peter C J Hill|a15Ctitle=Professor|a15Corg=Cranfield Defence & Security|a15Caddress=DISE, CDS, CMT, Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 8LA, UK|a15Cphone=++ (0)1793 785208|a15Cemail=p.c.j.hill@cranfield.ac.uk}}
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|a13email=sinnadurai@aol.com
 +
|a14name=Professor Nick Wright
 +
|a14ou=UK&RI Section
 +
|a14position=Treasurer
 +
|a14email=n.g.wright@newcastle.ac.uk
 +
|a15Aname=Professor Peter Hill
 +
|a15Aemail=p.c.j.hill@cranfield.ac.uk
 +
|a15Aname2=Professor Tony Davies
 +
|a15Aemail2=tonydavies@ieee.org
 +
|a15Bname=Mr Roland Saam
 +
|a15Bemail=r.saam@ieee.org
 +
|a15Bname2=Professor Charles Turner
 +
|a15Bemail2=c.turner@ieee.org
 +
|a15Cname=Peter Hill
 +
|a15Ctitle=Professor
 +
|a15Corg=CDS Cranfield
 +
|a15Caddress=DISE, CDS, CMT, Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 8LA, UK
 +
|a15Cphone=++44 (0)1793 785208
 +
|a15Cemail=p.c.j.hill@cranfield.ac.uk
 +
|a12=
 +
}}

Latest revision as of 19:56, 17 July 2012

Docket #:2012-02

This Proposal has been approved, and is now a Milestone Nomination

This proposal has been submitted for review.


Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old?


Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution)


Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity?


Was it of at least regional importance?


Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)?


Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony?


Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated?


Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1947 - circa 1960

Title of the proposed milestone:

Invention of Holography by Dennis Gabor

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:


In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

UK&RI

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: UK&RI Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: UK&RI Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

Unit: UK&RI Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: UK&RI Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name masked to public

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Imperial College, London

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

On or in the building of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ, England, UK. Dennis Gabor moved from the BTH company to the Electrical Engineering Department of Imperial College, University of London, in 1949, where he was appointed Reader in Electronics. He was promoted to Professor of Applied Electron Physics in the same Department in 1958.

Are the original buildings extant?

Yes

Details of the plaque mounting:


How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

There is a staffed desk at the Exhibition Road entrance of Imperial College, where visitors could ask for admittance or guidance; a walk across an open courtyard to the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building is required.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Imperial College, London

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:


A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:


What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

Gabor’s invention of holography was an unanticipated step and relied on his understanding of images in the Fourier domain. He understood the importance of phase information, whereas previously only the magnitude spectra had been considered of any importance in the processing and reproduction of images. With the aid of phase information, a three-dimensional reconstruction of an image is possible. The practical realization of this concept requires a coherent light source, and therefore had to await the invention of the laser before substantial applications of holography could be achieved. However prior to that, the invention led to improvements in electron microscopy and to new understandings and viewpoints on image processing and other forms of signal processing. At the time of the invention, Gabor evidently had a good opinion of his own achievement, and wrote in a letter to Max Born in June 1948 [9]: “……. a new thing and I have no doubt that it is my luckiest find yet …. ….. made me happier than anything I have done in the last 20 years …..

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

Full demonstration of the invention had to await the emergance of the the laser circa 1960, as processing the phase information required for the holograms depends on the availability of a coherent light source.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

The invention of holography by Gabor was in many respects ahead of other work and ideas in the processing of images, and as such was unique. G. Saxby [10] reports in his 1988 book that there were six and a half thousand papers on holography, of which he judged ‘….. more than a thousand … contain material of importance’. X-ray holograms were achieved by 1987 at Lawrence Livermore laboratories, and it can be considered that some aspects of synthetic aperture radar systems have concepts in common with holography. For addit1. Biography of Fellows of Royal Society. Written by T.E. Allibone: doi: 10.1098/rsbm.1980.0004, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 1980 26, 106-147 2. “Dennis Gabor – Contributions to Communication Theory & Signal Processing”, by P.C.J. Hill, EUROCON 2007 proceedings. 3. http://www.best-things-in-hungary.com/nobel-prize.html#gabor 4. At IEEE GHN site: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Dennis_Gabor 5. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Gabor 6. Biography (in Hungarian): http://www.sasovits.hu/anyag/feltalal/gabor_d.htm 7. Wikepedia entry in Hungarian (some added information not in the English language version): http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A1bor_D%C3%A9nes_(fizikus) 8. Information about some of his inventions, etc. (in Hungarian): http://www.feltalaloink.hu/tudosok/gabordenes/html/gabdental4.htm 9. R.R.A. Syms ‘Practical Volume Holography’, Oxford Science Publications, Clarendon Press, 1990 10. G. Saxby ‘Practical Holography’, Prentice Hall, 1988. 11 D. Gabor, Inventing the Future, Secker & Warburg, 1963, [and Pelican Books, London, 1964].

References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.


Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to ieee-history@ieee.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.