birefringence

noun bi·re·frin·gence \ ˌbī-ri-ˈfrin-jən(t)s \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of birefringence

plural birefringences
1 : the refraction of light in an anisotropic material (such as calcite) in two slightly different directions to form two rays
  • According to G. Blom of Philips, video disc acrylics must be optically clear and free of striations and birefringence. Clear vinyl often is highly birefringent.
  • Technical Survey
called also double refraction
2 : the visual effect produced by birefringence
  • The diagnosis was made before scanning in 22 patients by the detection of deposits with apple-green birefringence
  • —Philip N. Hawkins et al.
3 : the difference between the angles of refraction of light rays exhibiting birefringence

birefringent

play \-jənt\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of birefringence

International Scientific Vocabulary 1bi- + refringent refracting, from Latin refringent-, refringens, present participle of refringere to break up — more at refract


Medical Dictionary

birefringence

noun bi·re·frin·gence \ ˌbī-ri-ˈfrin-jən(t)s \

medical Definition of birefringence

: the refraction of light in an anisotropic material in two slightly different directions to form two rays; also : the visual effect produced by birefringence
  • The diagnosis was made before scanning in 22 patients by the detection of deposits with apple-green birefringence
  • —Philip N. Hawkins et al.The New England Journal of Medicine23 Aug. 1990

birefringent

play \-jənt\ adjective

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