A thin crystalline birefringent plate, usually made from Mica, cut such that its optical axis is parallel to the front and back surfaces. Quarter-wave plates are used as a compensator in microscopic analysis to produce a retardation of approximately 90 degrees or first order gray. Linearly polarized light which strikes the plate will be converted to elliptically polarized light and conversely elliptically polarized light will be converted to linearly polarized light.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Lambda-Viertel-Platte (Deut.); quarter wave plate
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- Walter C. McCrone, John Gustave Delly, The Particle Atlas, W. McCrone Associates, Chicago, IV, 1972
- Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "Light." Accessed 17 Jan. 2004.