Q:

What is a petrographic microscope?

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Quick Answer

A petrographic microscope is used in identifying rocks and minerals by their optical properties. The use of polarized light sources above and below the sample and construction that eliminates the affects of unwanted light interference make petrographic microscopes different from microscopes used by biologists.

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Full Answer

Other components include a Bertrand lens and a light condenser used in conoscopic identification, a rotating stage with vernier scales for reading sections of arc and accessory plates, such as a wave plate. The microscope is used to observe the characteristics of the mineral structure. A petrographic microscope requires training to use, which is available at geology and mineralogy departments at universities.

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