birefringence

[bahy-ri-frin-juhns]
noun Optics.

Origin:
1885–90; bi-1 + refringence

birefringent, adjective
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World English Dictionary
birefringence (ˌbaɪrɪˈfrɪndʒəns)
 
n
another name for double refraction
 
bire'fringent
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

birefringence bi·re·frin·gence (bī'rĭ-frĭn'jəns)
n.
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
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
birefringence  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (bī'rĭ-frĭn'jəns)  Pronunciation Key 
  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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Example sentences
When they take on different orientations, they refract different colors of light, a phenomenon called birefringence.
Birefringence can be observed when a nonisotropic substance is placed between crossed nicols.
Another form of birefringence is observed in anisotropic elastic materials.
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