Crystals and Interference

This virtual polarizing microscope, shows interference figures generated by thin birefringent, optically active, crystal plates in convergent light between two polarizers (linear or circular). The light source can be chosen to be monochrome or white (colored interference figures). Apart from showing the beauty of interference patterns, the applet may help to get acquainted with the notion of interference, birefringence, crystal axes, polarization, optical activity, or in general crystal optics.
For more information go to the introduction
Click the upper left corner to choose a setup.
START - generates the interference pattern
The following variables can be varied by the reader:
nx, ny, nz  refraction indices along the principal directions
gxx, gxy, ...  elements of the gyration tensor 
theta, phi  orientation of the crystal's optical axis with respect to the conoscopic setup (the screen) 
theta rotates around the horizontal axis, phi around the axis perpendicular to the screen 
eta  rotates both polarizer and analyzer simultaneously, eta=0.0 means the polarizer is vertical. 
xi  relative angle between the linear polarizer before and the analyzer after the crystal plate
width thickness of the crystal plate 


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Last modified: Jun. 2013