Can lasers be made to curve without a prism?

19 February 2012

Question

Can you make a laser spiral or curve without the use of prisms?

Answer

Nic - In free space, the laser has to travel in a straight line. But as soon as you introduce curving in the medium - so imagine a laser going a liquid crystal cell which had changes in its refractive index as it went through - that would cause it to bend in the same way that a lens could make it bend.

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