I want to point out that I have almost no knowledge in light and similar topics in physics, so this may sound like a weird question.

I was wondering if it's possible to make a laser beam appear segmented. Don't ask me why, but figuring this out might help me in one of the projects I'm working on.

To make you understand this question better, I will just make a small example with text. Let's assume this is a laser beam: __________________________ And I would like to segment this laser beam like so: _______ __ __ _ _____ _ ___ _ Would that be possible in any kind of way?

The preferable way I want this to happen is right at the emission point. Here is a picture:enter image description here

One of my own theories was to use some sort of very fast flickering lens with certain flicker patterns near the emission point, but I don't think that makes any sense. Does it? I would like to know your theories!

EDIT: I found out that a pulsed laser can do the thing I need.

  • $\begingroup$ Why do you think a laser is any different from any other light source in this respect? If you have a light source like a flash light you can make it "segmented" just by having a shutter in front of it that closes periodically. (Also, see pulsed lasers) $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I didn't know anything about a pulsed laser. It seems just like something I need. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Weston
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


Depending on timescales this could be very easy with an optical chopper https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_chopper

This is a device with a pattern of holes that rotates. The pattern of holes and constant rotation rate modulates the light on and off as desired.


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