Abstract

Spatial light modulator (SLM)-based tunable sources synthesize any specified spectral power distribution. However, their complexity makes a simpler version desirable. A prism before an SLM-projector is shown to synthesize spectra at least as effectively. Moreover, this simple setup projects two-dimensional (2-D) videos onto a one-dimensional (1-D) screen. Viewed through a prism (or grating), rainbow-colored renderings of grayscale videos emerge. The semitransparent, 2-D virtual images face each viewer all around the 1-D screen. Uncannily, mirrors around the 1-D screen cannot flip the images. In hindsight, SLM-based spectral synthesis is essentially a form of spectral encoding that is applicable to video projection, and beyond.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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