A novel method to selectively erase and update speckle-multiplexed holograms in photorefractive crystals by use of a double Mach-Zehnder (DMZ) interferometric arrangement is presented. The DMZ arrangement automatically produces a pair of π-phase-shifted interference patterns used for holographic recording, erasure, and update operations with a fairly simple optical configuration that consists of a commonly used dielectric multilayer beam splitter and two mirrors. The recording and the erasure conditions required for erasing a photorefractive hologram quickly and completely are discussed by calculating the temporal property of the hologram buildup and decay using the time-dependent coupled-wave equations. An experiment is also performed, in which arbitrary holograms in speckle-multiplexed holograms are selectively erased and updated with the simple DMZ optical configuration.
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