This chapter explains everything you need to know about optics that can be learned at a macro scale (without a microscope) to prepare you for the study of optics at micro scales (with a microscope). By providing an overview of optics, this chapter introduces the fundamentals of physics that apply to light and its interaction with materials (such as reflection and refraction). In mineralogy, these interactions between light and crystals are fundamental to the identification of minerals.
Topics covered in Chapter 16 include: The Electromagnetic Spectrum and Wave Nomenclature Refractive Index Refraction vs. Reflection of Light Refractometer Dispersion of Refractive Index The Prism and the Rainbow Refraction by Lenses Estimation and Determination of Refractive Index Correcting Vision Relief Anisotropic Materials Interference Colors Polarization by Reflection Polarization by Absorption Light Interaction with a Quartz Sphere Polarized Sunglasses Gem Refractometer: Anisotropic Minerals