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.
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the eye-catching holograms (above) which owes its creation to an invention in Rugby by Dennis Gabor (left) who died in 1979.
Dennis Gabor was awarded the Physics Nobel Prize in 1971.
The timepiece was invented by Jane in memory of Dennis Gabor, a Hungarian born scientist who proposed the idea of holograms while living in Bilton Road, Rugby, in 1948.
Caulfield was honoured by his peers, receiving the Dennis Gabor Award and the SPIE Gold Medal.
He says a 200-year overview of the history of the town ignores the nearby skyline dominated by radio masts, the Willans and Robinson factory, Rugby's relationship with Russelsheim, Sir Frank Whittle and Nobel prize winner Dennis Gabor and marks the only other two major events of this century as the unveiling of the William Webb Ellis statue and the construction of the gyratory system.
At Easter 1947 Dennis Gabor conceived of wavefront reconstruction; in the autumn of that year his patent on this topic was applied for; in August 1948 his paper on microscopy by reconstructed wavefronts, which included the word 'hologram', was presented to the Royal Society, and in September 1948 he gave a demonstration of his new equipment to the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
The Rugby visit will be particularly appropriate as Dennis Gabor was working in Rugby when he invented and then patented holography.
He never sought an award, yet his university (IIT Delhi) gave him its highest honour and SPIE awarded him its Dennis Gabor Award.
According to Dennis Gabor, he first thought of holography on Easter Day 1947.
Greguss was the President of the Curatorium of the International Dennis Gabor Award of the NOVOFER Foundation, recognising outstanding contributions from young scientists working in holography.