Polarized light microscopy

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A microscope analysis technique that uses a microscope with two rotating polarizing filters to characterize optical properties of particles. Polarized light microscopy, or PLM, can be used to measure refractive index, determine extinction coefficients, and examine birefringence. It is often used in conjunction with microchemical tests and fluorescent stains. PLM is used for the identification and characterization of metals, minerals, pigments, ceramics, fibers, hairs, starch grains, pollen, etc.

Synonyms and Related Terms

PLM; Polmikroskopie (Deut.); Mikroskopie im polariserten Licht (Deut.); microscopie en lumière polarisée (Fr.);

Resources and Citations

  • Walter C. McCrone, "Polarized Light Microscopy in Conservation: A Personal Perspective" JAIC Vol 33(2):101-14, 1994.
  • Walter C. McCrone, John Gustave Delly, The Particle Atlas, W. McCrone Associates, Chicago, IV, 1972

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