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Tupac Shakur Performance at Coachella Raises Hologram Debate

Christopher Polk, Getty Images for Coachella

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Following Tupac’s resurrection, the social media world was abuzz with hologram talk. But, is the rapper’s rise from the dead really a hologram?

John Marsh, assistant professor of Computer science at SUNYIT, thinks not.

“It’s really a two dimensional image projected in a very clever way, using some new technology,” Marsh said. ” The illusion is really quiet striking, as I understand it, but, as I also understand, it’s not technically a true hologram.”

A true hologram uses a laser passed through a “half mirror” (a piece of glass with a thin layer of silver) that splits the beam into two. Other mirrors are then used to reflect the light, which hits an object and, later, a photographic plate to create a 3-D image. For a more in-depth explanation with pictures, click here. The image can then be seen from multiple angles.

Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella

Marsh said if you want to see a real hologram, just open up your wallet and pull out a credit card.

“We have holograms on our credit cards these days,” Marsh said. “That’s a hologram, it’s a three dimensional image. If you use the right lighting and look at that thing from the right angles and rotate your credit card around, you have a true three-dimensional image there.”

Other products containing the unique images include the stickers on authentic sportswear and DVD cases. European money also makes use of the technique to verify the bills are legitimate.

But, the advancements won’t just stop with baseball cards. Marsh said the future of holograms looks bright.

“I think it’s going to keep on growing,” Marsh said. “It probably will grow exponentially, just because it’s such an amazing thing to be able to do. It’s as if you can travel to distant places and see and experience different things that you couldn’t previously have done.”

So, even though Tupac may not qualify as a hologram, just think about the credit card you’re using to buy his greatest hits.

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