birefringence


noun Optics.

  1. double refraction.

noun

  1. another name for double refraction

n.

  1. The resolution or splitting of a light wave into two unequally reflected waves by an optically anisotropic medium such as calcite or quartz.

  1. The property or capacity of splitting a beam of light into two beams, each refracted at a different angle, and each polarized at a right angle to the other. Certain crystals such as calcite and quartz have this property.
  2. The difference in the index of refraction between two beams passing through a substance that has this property. See also refraction index of refraction.

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