Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Holographic interferometry has application in forensic science and could detect subtle changes in living tissues

02 July 2022

Nice Shot

Holograms capture ghosts of things in the spaces they leave behind – patterns of light they once reflected, recorded and illuminated from different angles. Comparing 'live' holograms produced by a changing object, like a vibrating plane’s wing or a speeding bullet, creates holographic interference – seen here as shock waves around a bullet in flight. These patterns reveal subtle changes, like how stress affects a surface. Holographic interferometry has a bright future in forensic science, architecture and engineering – perhaps spotting damaging vibrations in load-bearing beams. But it may also detect subtle changes in living tissues, comparing how they change from moment to moment, possibly revealing diagnostic patterns for circulatory disorders, or monitoring the stresses inside medical implants.

Written by John Ankers

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