Analysis of Optical Properties and Image Patterns Due to Twinning in Calcite Crystals

Vincent Caminiti


The anomalous birefringent behavior and image patterns in select Calcite crystals was studied to determine whether its cause is trirefringence or mechanical deformation twinning.  Calcite is a material known for its strong birefringence which gives rise to substantial double refraction, the property of a material to bend light into two separate beams due to an anisotropic index of refraction.  Calcite samples have been studied that clearly produce multiple images beyond that of typical birefringence.  The mechanism by which these image patterns are produced was studied to determine a model describing this behavior.   Image patterns and twin law are characterized for each sample indicating that the model adequately describes behavior for one twin plane but does not for two twin planes.


Calcite, Twinning, Optics, Birefringence, Crystallography

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