# glg212 part ii, lecture 1: indicatrix and interference figures

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GLG212 Part II, Lecture 1: Indicatrix and interference figures. Objectives. Understand principles of: Birefringence (continued) Optical indicatrix Interference figures. The Optical Indicatrix. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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GLG212Part II, Lecture 1:Indicatrix and interference figuresObjectivesUnderstand principles of:Birefringence (continued)Optical indicatrixInterference figuresThe Optical IndicatrixIf we construct vectors whose direction corresponds to the vibration direction, and whose length corresponds to the refractive index of the material for light with that vibration direction, their tips will define an imaginary surface called the indicatrix.

The Optical Indicatrix

The indicatrix is a shape called an ellipsoid. Every cross section of an ellipsoid is an ellipse.

The longest direction of the ellipsoid is its major axis.

The shortest direction, perpendicular to the major axis, is called the minor axis.

Perpendicular to the major and minor axes is the intermediate axis.

These three axes are called the principal axes. The Optical IndicatrixA geometric figure that shows the index of refraction and vibration direction for light passing in any direction through a material is called an optical indicatrix.

n = refractive index

The indicatrix is constructed by plotting indices of refraction as radii parallel to the vibration direction of the light.

Ray p, propagating along Y, vibrates parallel to the Z-axis so its index of refraction (np) is plotted as radii along Z.

Ray q, propagating along X, vibrates parallel to Y so its index of refraction (nq) is plotted as radii along Y.

If the indices of refraction for all possible light rays are plotted in a similar way, the surface of the indicatrix is defined. The shape of the indicatrix depends on mineral symmetry.

The Optical Indicatrix

Isotropic IndicatrixOptically isotropic minerals all crystallize in the isometric crystal system. One unit cell dimension (a) is required to describe the unit cell and one index of refraction (n) is required to describe the optical properties because light velocity is uniform in all directions for a particular wavelength of light.The indicatrix is therefore a sphere.All sections through the indicatrix are circles and the light is not split into two rays.Birefringence may be considered to be zero.

Uniaxial IndicatrixMinerals that crystallize in the tetragonal, trigonal and hexagonal crystal systems have two different unit cell dimensions (a and c) and a high degree of symmetry about the c axis.Two indices of refraction are required to define the dimensions of the indicatrix, which is an ellipsoid of revolution whose axis is the c crystal axis.The semiaxis of the indicatrix measured parallel to the c axis is called ne, and the radius at right angles is called nw. The maximum birefringence of uniaxial minerals is always [ne - nw].All vertical sections through the indicatrix that include the c axis are identical ellipses called principal sections whose axes are nw and ne. Random sections are ellipses whose dimensions are nw and ne where ne is between nw and ne.The section at right angles to the c axis is a circular section whose radius is nw. Because this section is a circle, light propagating along the c axis is not doubly refracted as it is following an optic axis.Because hexagonal and tetragonal minerals have a single optic axis, they are called optically uniaxial.

Uniaxial Indicatrix - PositiveZ (longest) axis = optic axis = c

Uniaxial Indicatrix - Negative

X (shortest) axis = optic axis = c-axisUse of the IndicatrixIn this example the mineral is oriented so that its optic axis is horizontalWe will assume that the mineral is uniaxial positiveThe wave normal is through the centre of the indicatrix and light is incident normal to the bottom surface of the grain.Because the optic axis is horizontal, this section is a principal section, which is an ellipse whose axes are nw and ne.ThereforeOrdinary ray = nwExtraordinary = neMaximum because the mineral is optically positive.The extraordinary ray vibrates parallel to the trace of the optic axis (c axis) and the ordinary ray vibrates at right angles.Therefore, birefringence and hence interference colors are maximum values.

Use of the IndicatrixIn this case the mineral sample is oriented so that the optic axis is vertical.The section through the indicatrix perpendicular to the wave normal is the circular section whose radius is nw.Light coming from below is not doubly refracted, birefringence is zero and the light preserves whatever vibration direction it initially had.Between crossed polars this mineral should behave like an isotropic mineral and remain dark as the stage is rotated.However, because the light from the substage condenser is moderately converging, some light may pass through the mineral.The mineral may display interference colors but they will be the lowest order found in that mineral.

Use of the IndicatrixIn this sample the mineral sample is oriented in a random orientation so that the light path is at an angle q to the optic axis.The section through the indicatrix parallel to the bottom surface of the mineral is an ellipse whose axes are nw and neThe extraordinary ray vibrates parallel to the trace of the optic axis as seen from above, while the ordinary ray vibrates at right anglesBoth birefringence and interference colors are intermediate because ne is intermediate between nw and ne.

Biaxial IndicatrixMinerals that crystallize in the orthorhombic, monoclinic and triclinic crystal systems require three dimensions (a, b and c) to describe their unit cells and three indices of refraction to define the shape of their indicatrix

The three principal indices of refraction are na, nb and ng where na < nb < ng.The maximum birefringence of a biaxial mineral is always ng - na

Construction of a biaxial indicatrix requires that three indices of refraction are plottedHowever, while three indices of refraction are required to describe biaxial optics, light that enters biaxial minerals is still split into two rays.As we shall see, both of these rays behave as extraordinary rays for most propagation paths through the mineral

The index of refraction of the fast ray is identified as na where na < na < nb and the index of refraction of the slow ray is ng where nb < ng < ngBiaxial IndicatrixThe biaxial indicatrix contains three principal sections, the YZ, XY and XZ planes. The XY section is an ellipse with axes na and nb,The XZ section is an ellipse with axes na and ngYZ section is an ellipse with axes nb and ng.Random sections through the indicatrix are ellipses whose axes are na and ng.The indicatrix has two circular sections with radius nb that intersect the Y axis.The XZ plane is an ellipse whose radii vary between na and ng. Therefore radii of nb must be present.Radii shorter than nb are na and those that are longer are ng.The radius of the indicatrix along the Y axis is also nb

Biaxial Indicatrix

An ellipse with three unequal principal axes has two circular cross sections. The plane containing the major and minor axis cuts the ellipsoid in an ellipse with the maximum and minimum possible radii. Somewhere in between is a radius equal to the intermediate axis. The two circular sections have radius equal to the intermediate axis and intersect along the intermediate axis. They are shown in blue and purple at left. Biaxial IndicatrixThe directions perpendicular to each one of the circular sections are the optic axes.

For a generic ellipsoid with three unequal axes, there are two optic axes. Such materials are called biaxial.

Biaxial Indicatrix XZ planeTherefore the Y axis and the nb radii in the XZ plane define the two circular sections.Like uniaxial minerals, the circular sections in biaxial minerals are perpendicular to the optic axes, hence the term biaxial.Because both optic axes lie in the XZ plane of the indicatrix, that plane is called the optic plane.The angle between the optic axes bisected by the X axis is also called the 2Vx angle, while the angle between the optic axes bisected by the Z axis is called the 2Vz anglewhere 2Vx + 2Vz = 180.The Y axis, which isperpendicular to the optic planeis called the optic normal.

Optic Sign Biaxial MineralsThe acute angle between the optic axes is called the optic angle or 2V angle.The axis (either X and Z)that bisects the acute angle between the optic axes is the acute bisectrix or Bxa.The axis (either Z or X) that bisects the obtuse angle between the optic axes is the obtuse bisectrix or Bxo.The optic sign of biaxial minerals depends on whether the X or Z indicatrix axis bisects the acute angle between the optic axes.

If the acute bisectrix is the X axis, the mineral is optically negative and 2Vx is less than 90If the acute bisectrix is the Z axis, the mineral is optically positive and 2Vz is less than 90If 2V is exactly 90 so neither X nor Z is the acute bisectrix, the mineral is optically neutral.Optic Sign and Biaxial Indicatrix

Indicatrix Axes and Orthorhombic CrystalsOrthorhombic crystals have three mutually perpendicular crystallographic aces of unequal length. These crystal axes must coincide with the three indicatrix axes and the symmetry planes in the mineral must coincide with principal sections in the indicatrix. Any crystal axis may coincide with any indicatrix axis however.The optic orientation is defined by indicating which indicatrix axis is parallel to which mineral axis.Aragonite X = c, Y = a, Z = bAnthophyllite X = a, Y = b, Z = c

Use of the Biaxial IndicatrixThe biaxial indicatrix is used in the same way as the uniaxial indicatrix. It provides information about the indices of refraction and vibration direction given the wave normal direction that light is following through a mineral.Birefringence depends on how the sample is cut or mounted.Birefringence is:A maximum if the optic plane is horizontalA minimum if an optic axis is verticalIntermediate for all othe