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Creating a Reflection Hologram

Creating a Reflection Hologram



  • Helium-Neon Laser
  • Small mirror mounted on block of wood
  • Lens mounted on PVC Pipe
  • Holographic Plate and Developing Kit
  • Lightproof box (Holographic plate should be inside)
  • Sandbox
  • Shutter (can simply use cardboard stock)
  • 4 Inner tubes
  • Sturdy Table
  • A small object


  1. Lay the inner tubes on the table so they will align with the corners of the sandbox
  2. Place the sandbox on top of the inner tubes. Doing this will reduce the amount of vibrations within the sandbox.
  3. Place the He-Ne laser inside the sandbox, preferably near a corner and aiming parallel to the long side of the sandbox. You may want to dig it into the sand a bit to reduce possible vibrations or movement of the laser.
  4. Take the lens mounted on the PVC Pipe and dig it into the sand about six inches away from the laser. The laser should be going straight through the middle of the lens. Also make sure the lens is aligned properly as to spread out the laser light.
  5. Place the mirror mounted on wood about six inches past the lens. The mirror should be located in the middle of the spread out laser beam. Turn the mirror 30 to 45 degrees away from the incoming light.
  6. Take the small object and lay it in the sand about two feet away from the reflected laser light. Make sure the object is secure enough to stand while the holographic plate is leaning on it. If not, you may have to build a tiny stand to hold your holographic plate at the corners.


  1. Turn on the laser and make sure the setup is done correctly. The laser light should be covering the entire object you wish to turn into a hologram.
  2. Place a piece of cardboard stock in front of the laser; this will act as a shutter. Make sure there is no laser light leaking out the sides of the shutter.
  3. Turn off all lights in the room. Any light leakage could ruin the holographic image.
  4. Take the holographic plate (should not have been exposed to light yet) and lean it against the object you wish to create an image of. The emulsion of the holographic plate should be facing the object. The face of the plate should be slightly more than perpendicular to the laser light.
  5. Sit still and keep quiet for around 5 minutes to let the vibrations in the room and sandbox to settle. Light waves are very small and the slightest vibration could alter the image and distort the final product.
  6. Carefully but quickly remove the shutter from the laser for about fifteen seconds. Place the shutter back.
  7. Remove the holographic plate from the sandbox and place it back inside the lightproof box.
  8. Take the Holographic plate to the darkroom where you plan to develop it.
  9. Follow the instructions from the Developing kit. Instructions are generally:
    1. Mix chemicals with distilled water to form developing solution and bleach
    2. Dip and jiggle the plate in developer for around 20 seconds
    3. Rinse in water for 30 seconds
    4. Dip and jiggle the plate in bleach for around 20 seconds
    5. Rinse in water for 30 seconds
    6. Dry vertically using a hair dryer (avoid using high heat)