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[bahy-ri-frin-juh ns] /ˌbaɪ rɪˈfrɪn dʒəns/
noun, Optics.
Origin of birefringence
1885-90; bi-1 + refringence
Related forms
birefringent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for birefringence


another name for double refraction
Derived Forms
birefringent, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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birefringence in Medicine

birefringence bi·re·frin·gence (bī'rĭ-frĭn'jəns)
The resolution or splitting of a light wave into two unequally reflected waves by an optically anisotropic medium such as calcite or quartz.

bi're·frin'gent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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birefringence in Science
  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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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