Dennis Gabor

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Gabor, Dennis,

1900–1979, Hungarian-born British physicist, Ph.D. Berlin Institute of Technology 1927. Gabor was a researcher with the Thomson-Houston Company, England, from 1934 to 1949 and a professor at the Univ. of London from 1949 until his retirement in 1967. He was awarded the 1971 Nobel prize in Physics for his invention and development of holographyholography
, method of reproducing a three-dimensional image of an object by means of light wave patterns recorded on a photographic plate or film. Holography is sometimes called lensless photography because no lenses are used to form the image.
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, a lensless three-dimensional photography technique. His invention was accidental—he stumbled upon it while working to improve the electron microscope in the 1940s—and had little impact at the time because the coherent light source needed to make an image a true hologram did not exist in 1947. Interest in the invention was awakened in the 1960s, when the laserlaser
[acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation], device for the creation, amplification, and transmission of a narrow, intense beam of coherent light. The laser is sometimes referred to as an optical maser.
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, which provided the needed monochromatic light, was invented, enabling holography to become a multimillion-dollar industry.

Gabor, Dennis


Born June 5, 1900, in Budapest. Physicist and founder of holography. Member of the British Royal Society (1956). Honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1964).

Gábor graduated from the Technical University of Budapest and the Higher Technical School in Berlin. From 1927 to 1933 he worked in Germany, and in 1934 he emigrated to Great Britain. From 1949 to 1967 he taught at the University of London. (He became a professor there in 1958.) In 1967 he became the director of the Stanford laboratory of the Columbia Broadcasting System. Between 1948 and 1951, Gábor developed a general theory of holography and obtained the first holograms. In 1956 he designed the first holo-graphic microscope. Gabor also wrote works on electronics, optics, information theory, and communication theory.


The Electron Microscope. London, 1946.
Electron Inventions and Their Impact on Civilization. London, 1959. Inventing the Future. London, 1963.