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Three-Dimensional Images Are Conjured in a Crystal Cube

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Science  30 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5279, pp. 1172
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5279.1172


Engineers have long struggled to build displays that create the illusion of three dimensions. A Research Article on page 1185 reports something that may be better than illusions: true 3D images, traced within a cube of special glass by a pair of lasers. The lasers deliver invisible infrared light; where their beams cross, they create a point of fluorescence. The prototype display is small and its information content is low, but some researchers think full-fledged versions could have applications in everything from medicine to air-traffic control.