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Polarizing microscope

A polarizing microscope allows to image and characterize birefringent samples.

Polarizers are positioned above and below the sample. A birefringent sample modifies the polarized light, which makes it visible even when it is transparent. For certain samples, it also allows to determine the alignment’s direction of their molecules.

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Optical texture obtained using a polarizing microscope of a smectic phase of a non chiral product.
(JC Rouillon, Photothèque CNRS)