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Laser disruption

  1. May 15, 2013 #1
    I have a question that I haven't found any information elsewhere on how to approach. Just because yahoo answers seemed particularly keen to sniff out homework and mock those asking questions by it, just to clarify this is for my own knowledge not for any project for school or anything. Anyway, I found that apart from objects light can't seem to disrupt itself and so what I want to try and find is a way to take a single photon beam and disrupt it with another beam. I thought since I haven't had the oppurtunity to find the necessary equipment to create a single photon beam that this may work in the meantime by everyones optics experience. So just to clarify my question simply is can a laser disrupt another laser, if so what would be needed, and if not why? Can if not the same frequency and laser a different frequency laser or intensity or something be a factor in the quality of a disruption. I don't think I asked this very well, but thank you in advance for the attention, no matter how small it may have been.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2013 #2


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    If you are wanting to know if you can use a laser to shoot another out of the air, the short answer is no. Photons do not interact with one another like that.

    If your two beams have the same frequency and a stable phase relationship (which pretty much means they are two halves of one beam, split and recombined) then the beams interfere where they overlap. You will find bright and dark areas in the overlap region - look up interference. The beams are unaffected before and after the overlap.

    Certain crystals, called non-linear optical crystals, have refractive indices that depend on the intensity of the light shining through them. In these crystals you can change the direction of one light beam with another. I'm pretty sure single photons won't do, though - you can't get a high enough energy density.

    Does that help?
  4. May 15, 2013 #3
    That is perfect, yes, that makes sense with my understandings. No one seemed to mention the change of light and dark spots, or interference either, so now that I know where to go it's a big help, thank you Ibix.
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