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# Physics/scatter

Question
QUESTION: Is there anything that scatters a laser beam into many small beams no greater than a 30 degree angle area of light spots?

ANSWER: You'll have to be more specific.  Is 30 degrees the spread of the beam, or the angle at which the beams come off?  In both cases the answer is "technically no, if you're nitpicking, but in practical terms then totally yes." However, I need to know what you're talking about.  Also, how many spots?  Stationary?  Moving?  How big is the beam coming in?  How big are the spots?  That's a lot of open options...

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QUESTION: A laser pointer width beam and perhaps 100's of spots of light from it (possible multiple laser pointers firing at same thing).Creating a circle of light dots say 6" in diameter.

ANSWER: Sure, you can design something to split that beam, since you're talking about a precise circle.  Just create a reflective cone with a 30 degree opening angle and smooth out 100 planes every 3.6 degrees around it.  With the proper laser metal sintering process you could just design and make such a beam splitter on a 3D printer that can work in metal.  The 30 degree angle of the cone will give you a 15 degree angle to the axis of the cone, and precisely pointing the beam down the axis of the cone will create a beam for each reflecting surface.

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QUESTION: That sounds confusing. I'd be afraid to use a reflective surface as there is so little light already from laser pointers that any absorption would be horrible. I basically want a cheap means of expanding a beam but having multiple shards of light instead of one beam would work.

You mean some cheap commercial thing like this?  Google laser pointer attachments if you want more options:

Physics

Volunteer

#### Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

##### Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

##### Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.