Birefringence

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Birefringence

Description

An optical property of some crystalline materials. Birefringence indicates the crystal has two different refractive indices when viewed from two different molecular orientations. Birefringent particles will appear bright and/or colorful when viewed through a microscope using crossed polars. These interference colors are due the their birefringence and thickness. Many synthetic fibers are birefringent.

Synonyms and Related Terms

"Doppelbrechung (Deut.); birrefringencia (Esp.); doble refracción (Esp.); biréfringence (Fr.); dubbelbrekendheid (Ned.); birefraction; double refraction;

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • ASTM, Standard Terminology of Microscopy, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 14, General Methods and Instrumentation, ASTM, E175, 75-78, May 1982
  • Walter C. McCrone, John Gustave Delly, The Particle Atlas, W. McCrone Associates, Chicago, IV, 1972
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Mary-Lou Florian, Dale Paul Kronkright, Ruth E. Norton, The Conservation of Artifacts Made from Plant Materials, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1990

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