Applied Mineralogy

pp 101-135

Optical Mineralogy And Its Uses

  • Swapna MukherjeeAffiliated withGeological Survey of India

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Optical mineralogy is the study of minerals 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. Some of the properties and techniques used include: refractive index, birefringence, Michel-Lévy colour chart, pleochroism, extinction angle, conoscopic interference pattern and Becke line test—to be covered in this chapter