from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The resolution or splitting of a light wave into two unequally reflected or transmitted waves by an optically anisotropic medium such as calcite or quartz. Also called double refraction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the splitting of a ray of light into two parallel rays of perpendicular polarization by passage through an optically anisotropic medium

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Double refraction.
  • n. The strength of the double refraction, that is, the difference between the two indices of refraction for a uniaxial crystal and that between the maximum and minimum indices for a biaxial crystal. See refraction, 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. splitting a ray into two parallel rays polarized perpendicularly


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Calcite splits incoming rays of light in two, known as birefringence.

    Sunstones could have helped Vikings navigate from Norway to America

  • This is known as birefringence and has a large effect on the polarization of light orientation of the wave.

    Archive 2004-04-01

  • I'm really tired so I'll post the birefringence pictures tomorrow. posted by John @ 3:08 AM online

    Archive 2004-05-01

  • There are simple devices that can show the birefringence, in fact it can look very pretty, but our project sponsor wants to know quantitatively what the birefringence is over his plastic elements.

    Archive 2004-04-01

  • By rotating this piece and flipping it around we can make the four measurements needed to get the retardance and birefringence.

    Archive 2004-04-01

  • A Pockels cell alters the polarization state of light passing through it when an applied voltage induces birefringence changes in an electro-optic crystal such as DKDP (KD*P) and BBO. all content

  • Having the data on top prevents birefringence and therefore prevents readability problems.

  • "Vectorial fiber laser using intracavity axial birefringence."


  • Waveplates are made from materials which exhibit birefringence. all content

  • It is a transparent substance that can split a single beam of light into two beams, which is known as birefringence.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]


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  • My friend and I found this in the dictionary one day while we were tutoring..,its a neat word.

    December 31, 2010