Abstract

This paper considers the use of the microscope in petrology, with particular reference to the polarizing microscope. The underlying principles of the preparation of a thin section and its subsequent investigation are briefly discussed. A detailed, step-by-step account is given of the microscopic methods employed to determine the mineral constituents in a thin rock section, using both conoscopic and orthoscopic techniques. The optical and physical properties of the sectioned minerals, which form the basis of such analyses, include pleochroism, birefringence, distinctive cleavage and twinning patterns, polarization colors, and interference effects.

© 1964 Optical Society of America

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