The San Francisco Exploratorium was created in the early 1970's by J. Robert Oppenheimer's brother. The facilities have been moved to a new location with vast amounts of donated money. In the previous blog I explain some of the deficiencies of this new tourist site.
In the late 1970's I donated a Japanese Magic Mirror ( Makyoh) to the Exploratorium. I included translations of Japanese research journal reports on how the mirror worked. The mirror casts a 3D image on the wall (mine was a standing Shakyamuni Buddha) and it was in focus at any distance, reflecting sunlight. The Japanese documents I provided reported on a microscopic study of the surface of the mirror and explained that it was an hologram created by trial and error. The technology was more than a thousand years old. I had taken the mirror to an oId traditional Kyoto craftsman to be polished. He had spent about an hour, while I watched him, polishing the mercury surface with pear oil and a cloth.
The Exploratorium lost the mirror, when I checked about a year after donating it. It had cost me about $600 and today would be worth about $8,500 with inflation and the changing value of the yen.
The real problem with the mirror is that it demonstrates that a thousand years ago a very recent scientific development (holographic diffraction patterns from coherent light) was already a technical tool in public use. We think we are the scientific geniuses of all time. Nothing that contradicts that is acceptable.
About the same time I made a proposal to the Exploratorium to create a device to measure earth tides. The same tides that flow around the world twice a day, created by the earth-moon interaction, are visible on the oceans because they can average +/- 3 feet around the mean when the oceans contact the shore. On large land surfaces they only measure +/- one foot and are not visible as they travel.
The land tidal wave device I proposed was a laser setup 8 miles away from the Exploratorium that was focused on a dark chamber in the Exploratorium and recorded the wave motion on a photosensitive paper.
The staff had no interest in the idea. To this day I've never seen any device that shows people the land wave that travels under our feet and our houses twice a day.To me, the Exploratorium is a constant disappointment.