How to widen a laser beam?

1. Jun 7, 2012

n1caboose

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

I need to be able to widen the beam of a laser for an experiment I am doing. I want to increase the area the beam takes up while preserving the total amount of light passing through a plane. I provided a diagram of a way I think I can do this, but I would appreciate any other insight on how else I could do this. Though most lasers output a circular beam of light, a solution that enlarges the area, but in a way that makes the resultant beam shape non-circular is also okay (but not preferred). Assume infinite resources available.

I'd like to know about any optical devices or optics component setups that will achieve this.

2. Relevant equations

I'm asking for a more conceptual answer more on how to do this rather than any specific numerical solutions to an exact case. However, this may help:

1/d_i + 1/d_o = 1/f, where

d_i = image distance
d_o = object distance
f = focal length

3. The attempt at a solution

The diagram I attached shows how I think a bi-concave lens followed by a bi-convex lens should do the trick, though my concern is that it will be tricky to put the laser directly through the center.

Thanks PF!

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