Original paper

Polarized light reflection from minerals: A matrix approach

Gunter, Mickey E.

European Journal of Mineralogy Volume 1 Number 6 (1989), p. 801 - 814

40 references

published: Dec 21, 1989
manuscript accepted: Aug 22, 1989
manuscript received: Feb 10, 1989

DOI: 10.1127/ejm/1/6/0801

BibTeX file

ArtNo. ESP147050106006, Price: 29.00 €

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Abstract A mathematical approach, based upon matrix algebra, is developed to calculate the intensity and polarization characteristics of a polarized light beam reflected from a mineral's surface. The mathematics were taken from the physics literature, rewritten, refined, and integrated for use in mineralogical applications. The method was specifically formulated for use with randomly oriented anisotropic dielectrics (transparent biaxial minerals). However, the method can be generalized to all materials, including magnetic and metallic minerals and semiconductors, although the emphasis here is on dielectrics. The quantification of reflectance measurements can find use in reflectance microscopy and refractometric measurements. Sample calculations are given for an isotropic dielectric, isotropic metal, and anisotropic dielectric. The methods described herein were developed to assist in design and development of the Bloss Automated Refractometer, an electro-optical device which, when completed, will automatically determine the refractive indices of minerals in thin section.