Laser Beam Diameter

  • #1
Hi Friends,
I want to know that why one can't achieve diameter of a laser less than the wavelength of the beam in order to get more power through a lens.
plz explain in simple Physics
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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This is given by diffraction.
There is just no solution for electromagnetic waves that would correspond to a smaller diameter.
 
  • #3
This is given by diffraction.
There is just no solution for electromagnetic waves that would correspond to a smaller diameter.
Dear mfb,
Would you please explain diffraction so that I can comprehend the diffraction?
Why light does not scatter above the order of its corresponding wavelength?
 
  • #4
35,918
12,743
There are books about diffraction, I cannot replace books.
This has nothing to do with scattering.
 
  • #5
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Krishnakant,

check out the section "Diffraction of light" in https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffraction ,
particularly the animations. The size of the hole in those animations is the laser's aperture, and the "beam" is coming out to the right. You will see that the smaller the aperture, the wider-spread the beam is. The whole article explains why that is.
 
  • #6
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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In simple terms, if the size of the wavefront is much smaller than the wavelength, there will be almost no interference between different parts of the wavefront, which is what keeps a wavefront from immediately expanding outwards in all directions.
 
  • #7
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A few weeks back I actually wrote some code as a fun project that simulates the wave equation on a grid, and visualized it (in C#). I futzed around with different aperture sizes and was quite stunned that from >10 wavelengths on of aperture size, the classic "beam" just comes out naturally.
It made me realize that what we think as the "obvious" behavior of light, I.e. that it will move in a straight line, is really not obvious at all, but rather an outcome of intricate interference patterns.
 
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