Lasers and Holograms on Display in Tempe

TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — "Vintage Lasers & Holograms" celebrates the first sixty years of the laser industry by exhibiting over 180 lasers from a dozen countries, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s, along with many related artifacts.

Lasers are an essential component of the STEAM careers of the future, and holography plays a vital role in many of these technologies. Visitors get to look "under the covers" of these beautiful old lasers, to see the craftsmanship of their components and to understand what makes them work.

Lasers produce beams of pure "coherent" light which can be used for many applications. Modern lasers are mostly made from semiconductor materials. Originally however, lasers were made from delicate ruby crystals and glass rods, or with powerful electrical arcs sparking through special gasses in elaborate plasma-tubes. This exhibit concentrates on these early types, including a rare prototype of the very first commercial laser, and the first laser model with a continuously visible beam. There’s also a display of thirty of the earliest laser pointers, a TV-prop laser gun, and the world’s oldest working commercial laser.

Holography uses coherent light to store information with encoded patterns called holograms. It’s commonly used to record three-dimensional images for artistic purposes, and to secure documents like passports and credit cards. But holography is also used to make special optical components for technical applications, and for consumer products such as the latest virtual reality goggles.

Holograms in this exhibit include life-sized portraits, animated holograms, a hologram of the first laser, built by Ted Maiman at Hughes Aircraft Company in 1960, and one of the starship "Enterprise" made for the opening of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

The exhibit draws from the collection of local holographer Robert Hess, and is hosted by Satori Optics LLC until the end of April 2022 in the Baseline Business Park at Baseline and Ash in Tempe, Arizona. Hours are from noon to 6:00 pm, Saturday to Wednesday (closed Thursdays and Fridays), or by appointment.

For more information, please visit

Contact: Bob Hess, Curator, Vintage Laser Archive, (480) 239-0436,

SOURCE Vintage Lasers & Holograms