Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Beam Divergence

  1. Jan 28, 2008 #1
    [SOLVED] Beam Divergence

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 1.5mW helium-neon laser beam delivers a spot of light 5mm in diameter across a room 15m wide. The beam radiates from a small circular area of diameter 0.5mm at the output mirror of the laser. Assume that the beam irradiance is constant across the diverging beam.

    What is the beam divergence angle of this laser?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I used the equation above and got 0.017 degrees. However the book's answer is 0.0096 degrees. It's very straight forward but for some reason its not right. I don't know if it is a typo in the book or if I am attempting to do the problem incorrectly. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2008 #2
    I figured it out. That equation can not be used for my problem. Here's what I did for future reference:

    I found the solid angle first:
    w=(0.0025^2*pi)/(15^2)= 8.73E-8sr

    After that I used it in this equation:

    Solve for theta and divide by two gives the divergence angle.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook