Denes Gabor

Picture of Denes Gabor

Date of Birth: 06/05/1900

Age: 78

Place of birth: Budapest

Citizenship: Hungary


G. was called up for military service in 1918 and a few months before the end of the First World War, is aimed at training officers who prepared the artillery and cavalry. In the autumn of 1918 he was assigned to the Italian front. From Italy, he moved to Hungary in November 1918, after the war, demobilized.

On his return, he enrolled at the Budapest Technical University, where he chose the specialty of mechanical engineer with four-year universities, so how to get a job in Hungary, a graduate in physics at the time was virtually impossible. When he studied in the third year, it again called into the army. As an opponent of the monarchy restored in Hungary in 1920, G. dodged the draft and moved to Berlin to complete his education at the Technical University of Berlin, where he graduated in 1924 with an engineering degree. During these years he often visited the University of Berlin, where he had the opportunity to listen to the lectures of outstanding scientists like Max Planck, Walther Nernst, Max von Laue, and also attend a workshop of Albert Einstein.

After receiving in 1927 a doctorate in electrical engineering, he worked in the physics laboratory of the company "Siemens and Halske" in Siemensstadt. Among the works carried out there was the invention of the quartz mercury lamp. Shortly after Hitler came to power in 1933, after the expiry of the contract with "Siemens and Halske", he returned to Hungary. Working freelance Laboratory of the Research Institute of electron tubes Tungsrama, he created a new type of fluorescent lamp, which he called plasma. Not being able to sell the patent for his invention in Hungary, he decided to emigrate to England. There, he managed to find a place in the "British Thomson-Houston" (BTH), where he worked from 1934 to 1948. In 1946 he received British citizenship.

The BTH G. tried to improve their plasma lamp, but two years later the project was abandoned due to insurmountable technical difficulties. From 1937 to 1948 he worked mainly e-optics - a branch of physics that studies ways to control electron beams and their focus. During the Second World War papers by e-optics were suspended. The fact is that in those years, G. had not been a British citizen and, therefore, the authorities imposed a ban on its direct involvement in military programs. It was rejected, and his attempt to join the army, but it was later included in the list of foreigners enjoying special rights. In this capacity, Mr. able to continue his studies, but did not have access to classified information. That is why during the war, he worked in a small house outside the strictly protected area of ??BTH. Not knowing about the works to build the radar, he created a system that, according to his plan, was to discover the warmth of their aircraft engines.

The war has made changes in personal life In December 1938 to visit him came Brother Andre, and G. persuaded him to stay in England for permanent residence. He strongly invited to themselves and parents, but they returned to Hungary shortly before Hitler`s seizure of Poland. Father G. died in 1942 and his mother survived the war and in 1946, moved in with him.

Shortly before the end of the war he was again turned to the research on electron optics and began work, which eventually led him to the creation of holography. Initially, he set out to improve the electronic lens - the device focusing the electron beams as well as a glass lens light rays. Such lenses are used primarily in the electron microscope, invented in 1933 by Ernst Ruska. It produces highly magnified image with the guided object to the electron beam and focus accurately reflected electrons on a specially treated screen. According to quantum mechanics, electrons, like light, have wave properties. Since the length of the fast electron waves is smaller than wavelengths of light, the electron microscope can resolve much finer details than optical. In the 30-ies. the resolution of electron microscopes restrict the drawbacks of the electron lens. Above certain levels of increasing lens distorts the image, resulting in the loss of information.

G. interested in the question whether it is possible to take a bad electronic image containing all the information and correct it by optical means? In other words, he decided to use light to enlarge and "read" the image, obtained with the help of electron beams. In 1947, G. developed the theory underlying this method, and in 1948 coined the term hologram (from the Greek voice - polnyyi Gram - recorded). G. demonstrated the capabilities of its approach, not using electron beams and light rays. And nowadays holography is used mainly as an optical, rather than electro-optical method.

Using the property of waves, known as "phase difference", the hologram records the information that is not in the usual photos - the distance from each of the object space to the film. It is believed that two intersecting waves propagating in space are in phase at some point in space, if at this point the peak of one wave coincides with the peak of the other, and hollow - with depression. At such points, two waves generate a new wave with an amplitude greater than the amplitude of each of the two primary waves. At other points in space are peaks of one wave troughs coincide with the other, in which case the waves cancel each other (are in antiphase). If the two waves are propagated from the light source to the emulsion in various ways, whether they will then reaches the film in the phase difference depends on the distance traveled by them.

To obtain a hologram of an object, the light beam is split into two. One of the "daughter" of beams, called the reference, goes straight to the film, the other before you get to it, it is reflected from the object. Since the two beams before meeting at the same point of the film are different distances, they generate an interference pattern: a pattern of dark and bright spots, matching points on the film, in which incoming waves are in phase or antiphase. The interference pattern bears no resemblance to the subject, but it`s worth it to pass through the light beam, the identity reference, it is split into two - exactly the same, which initially fell on the film. Looking at these beams, the observer sees a three-dimensional image of the object.

The holographic effect is particularly clear when all the light waves in the initial uncleaved beam are in phase. Such light is called coherent, can only be obtained with a laser. That is why G. discovery was not appreciated before the invention of the laser in 1960. Holography is used in various fields, including medicine, cartography, diagnosis of failures in high-speed equipment, and recently used to store and process information in computers .

In 1949, G. BTH left and became an associate professor of electronics at Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London. In 1958 he became professor of applied electronics. In 1967 he retired and worked as a consultant in the laboratories of C-PBS in Stamford (CT), while retaining the service office and the privileges of the Imperial College.

In 1971, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for "for his invention and development of the holographic method" physics.

In his Nobel lecture, he touched on that first caught his attention during the war - the role of science and technology in society. "We have gone forward to a day of creation when compared with the basic technology created by [Alfred Nobel] and his contemporaries - said G. - The social impact of new technologies is huge ... Many of us suspect, that human nature is remarkably adapted to ensure that the take us out of the jungle and caves to the modern high industrial stage of industrialization, but not the fact that in the undisturbed stay for a long time at this altitude. "

Upon his retirement, Mr. traveled extensively to lecture, continued his studies (including work on the creation of three-dimensional projector for movies), wrote articles. Although in 1974 he suffered a stroke, deprived of his ability to read and write, G. continued to maintain contacts with colleagues and follow their work. When in 1977 in New York Holography Museum was opened, it became his first visitor.

In 1936, he joined in marriage to Marjorie Butler, his collaborator at BTH. He died on February 9, 1979 in a London private clinics.

G. was a member of the Royal Society, an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Knight of the Order of the British Empire. He was awarded the Medal of Thomas Young Physical Society of London (1967), the Rumford medal of the Royal Society (1968), Albert Medal Michelson Franklin Institute (1968), the Medal of Honor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1970), and the prize Holveka French Physical Society (1971) . G. was awarded honorary degrees Sauthemptonskogo University, Delft University of Technology, the University of Surrey County, New York, Columbia and the University of London.