Dennis Gabor


Dennis Gabor began his career as an electrical engineer doing applied physics. His Ph.D. work involved designing and building a high speed cathode ray oscillograph. He invented the high pressure quartz mercury lamp that at one time was standard in street lamps. Later he designed a system of stereoscopes for cinematography. During the late 1940s his experimental work, trying to improve electron microscopes, led to electron holography, for which he won the Nobel prize. Holography is the reconstruction of wavefronts that have interacted with an object in order to construct a three-dimensional image of the object. The invention of the laser in 1960, and application of it to holography led to the three-dimensional holographic images most commonly found. Gabor’s contributions continued with electron spectroscopes, explanations of lighting, a holographic microscope, and color television tube.