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Related to birefringence: circular birefringence
the quality of transmitting light unequally in different directions.
the property of having more than one refractive index according to the direction of the transmitted light.
birefringenceAn optical property of materials in which the refractive index differs for light polarised in 1 plane compared to the normal (orthogonal) plane. Crossed Nicoll prisms cause birefringent material to appear bright against a dark background.
Form birefringence—due to differences in molecular organisation of a material.
Stress birefringence—due to tension-related differences in molecular alignment.
Flow birefringence—due to differences in alignment of rod-like particles in fluids.
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.
birefringenceSplitting of light into two separate beams.
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.