Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and apologize if the answers to my questions have already been addressed (I did spend time searching and reading). I'm working on a prototype which allows me to explore interesting flow patterns by illuminating smoke/fog with a plane of laser light. I know this phenomenon is hardly new, but as a motion control artist, I am particularly interested in the "control" aspect. I have a relatively solid physics and tech background, and have played with laser light for decades-- still find it a lovely thing!

To create my light plane, I first used a spinning polygonal mirror. I've switched to using line-generating optics for two reasons: simplicity and safety. No moving parts, and no possibility of scanner failure resulting in a collimated stationary beam. My first set of questions relate to line-optics--
1) can anyone point me to a reference that can guide me as to how I can calculate the fan angle when using a cylindrical lens (glass rod) as a function of its radius and refractive index?
2) related to #1, what is the distribution of power within the fan (I know it is not even).
3) I have used the Fresnel line generators (if that's what they are) from Aixiz. The power distribution looks more even, but does anyone know if this is true?

Thanks in advance for any info.