Scientists produce 3D images that can float in air

Updated 2018-01-28 17:25:01 Xinhua

Scientists have almost brought to life one of the most classic sci-fi technologies -- 3D displays, using so-called optical trap display that projects graphics into the air, according to a Nature paper published on Nature's website this week.

The report sheds light on free-space volumetric display, a breakthrough made by a group of researchers at Brigham Young University in the western U.S. state of Utah.

The new thing can also be interpreted as "displays that create luminous image points in space," as those displays are capable of producing images in "thin air" that are "visible from almost any direction and are not subject to clipping," the report says.

It is impossible to get light to just stop dead in air, so it has led doubt that we can never realize 3D projections. However, the research team led by holography expert Daniel Smalley has managed to pull it off thanks to some very special lasers.

According to the Nature report, this display works by first isolating a cellulose particle by forces conveyed by a set of near-visible laser beems in a photophoretic trap. The trap and particle are then scanned through a display volume while being illuminated with red, green and blue light. The result is a three-dimensional image in free space with a large color gamut, fine detail and low apparent speckle.

"This display is like a 3D printer for light," Smalley said, "You're actually printing an object in space with these little particles."

At the moment, the projections that are possible with the technology are extremely tiny -- perhaps a butterfly or just a university logo. The technology is not quite ready for primetime yet, Smalley said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 16 2019 11:26:07

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 16 2019 11:26:07

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 16 2019 11:26:07

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords