Surprise! It’s tiny.

Out of curiosity, I pried apart a laser pointer from Dollar Tree. See that tiny spot next to the blob-top circuit (probably the current regulator/driver)? That’s the laser diode.

I really want a microscope now to see what the heck is going on here!

There’s a lens to focus this into a more, uh, pointer-like beam. I haven’t figured out how to photograph this well yet but the uncollimated output is a wide elongated ellipse of light with pond ripple patterns at the ends.

For some reason I always envisioned the common laser diode to be a bigger object, but no— it’s teeny weeny. Cool.

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