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Manipulating light

  1. Feb 14, 2014 #1
    It is fairly common knowledge that you can use a magnifying glass to bend light and that at the point where the beam is tightest you can produce great heat. Yet beyond this point the beam scatters as the photons continue to travel on at the same angle at which they left the lense. Is there a way to stabilize the beam like a laser, keeping all the photons traveling in the same direction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2014 #2
    No. Light is not just one frequency. If you ever played with a prism you would know that the amount that a beam of light is bent is dependent upon the frequency of light. The higher the frequency is the more the photons are bent. There is no way to perfectly align all of the different photons when it goes through a lens. On high quality lenses there are multiple coatings to try to make all of the frequencies bend the same, but they are not perfect.
  4. Feb 14, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    As has been said, you can't get laser-like alignment in free space. But there are some techniques for collimating light, and once collimated, you can transport the light in a light pipe or optical fiber...


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