Image Number 3 for United States Patent #4499569.
A method and apparatus for monitoring the focus condition of a writing light beam impinging the writing surface of a recording medium. The present invention operates on the recognition of the fact that light from a laser is very slightly divergent as it emerges from the laser. Accordingly, the reflected light from the medium is convergent as it passes in the reverse direction and it forms a real image of the source plane wave. The image is compared to a reference image indicative of proper focus, and the focus is adjusted until the image matches the reference image.