Optical mineralogy

Optical mineralogy is the study of minerals and rocks by measuring their optical properties. Most commonly, rock and mineral samples are prepared as thin sections or grain mounts for study in the laboratory with a petrographic microscope. Optical mineralogy is used to identify the mineralogical composition of geological materials in order to help reveal their origin and evolution.

A petrographic microscope, which is an optical microscope fitted with cross-polarizing lenses, a conoscopic lens, and compensators (plates of anisotropic materials; gypsum plates and quartz wedges are common), for crystallographic analysis.

Some of the properties and techniques used include:


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