double refraction

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Related to double refraction: optic axis, Nicol prism


the act or process of refracting; specifically, the determination of the refractive errors of the eye and their correction with glasses.
the deviation of light in passing obliquely from one medium to another of different density.
cycloplegic refraction a type of static refraction, measured after lens accommodation is paralyzed by administration of cycloplegic eye drops.
double refraction refraction in which incident rays are divided into two refracted rays.
dynamic refraction refraction of the eye during accommodation.
ocular refraction the refraction of light produced by the media of the normal eye and resulting in the focusing of images upon the retina.
static refraction refraction of the eye when its accommodation is paralyzed.

dou·ble re·frac·tion

the property of having more than one refractive index according to the direction of the transmitted light.
Synonym(s): birefringence

dou·ble re·frac·tion

(dŭb'ĕl rĕ-frak'shŭn)
The property of having more than one refractive index according to the direction of the transmitted light.
Synonym(s): birefringence.


Property of anisotropic media such as crystals, whereby an incident light beam is split up into two beams, each plane polarized at right angles to the other. One beam, called ordinary, obeys Snell's law, while the other, called extraordinary, does not. Syn. double refraction. See anisotropic; law of refraction; Nicol prism; Wollaston prism.
References in periodicals archive ?
Attaining such double refraction, he grasps that his being and all other beings are discrete forms of a distributed power, gatherings of geometry and abyss.
Werner Kuhn (1899-1963), Swiss teacher and scientist, who among many other achievements in physical chemistry, first applied statistical considerations to the properties of macromolecules, and successfully accounted in this way for the elasticity and stress-induced double refraction of rubberlike materials.
Neither Newton's particles nor Huygen's longitudinal waves could explain Bartholin's observation of double refraction nine years before, but that was ignored.
In addition, the new Smooth Screen technology uses crystal double refraction to arrange pixels on a screen with no gaps in between them - producing vivid, smooth images found in commercial movie theaters.
Bartholin's discovery that Iceland spar showed double refraction and produced two rays of light (see 1669) had never been properly explained.