from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An instrument for ascertaining, measuring, or exhibiting the properties of polarized light or for studying the interactions of polarized light with optically transparent media.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An optical instrument, various forms of which have been contrived, for exhibiting the polarization of light, or for examining substances in polarized light.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Opt.) An instrument consisting essentially of a polarizer and an analyzer, used for polarizing light, and analyzing its properties.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a polarimeter

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

  • noun an optical device used to measure the rotation of the plane of vibration of polarized light


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • He invented the polariscope, and produced the first solar coronagraph.

    Weekend SkyWatcher's Forecast – February 26-28, 2010 | Universe Today 2010

  • United States, a bounty of two cents per pound; and upon such sugar testing less than ninety degrees by the polariscope, and not less than eighty degrees, a bounty of one and three-fourth cents per pound, under such rules and regulations as the Commissioner of Internal

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 Various

  • The commission recommends that the work of polarizing sugars be placed in the hands of chemists, or at least of persons who are familiar with the use of the polariscope and have some knowledge of the theory of its construction and of chemical manipulations.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 Various

  • The polariscope should not be exposed to the direct rays of the sun during part of the day, and should not be near artificial sources of heat, such as steam boilers, furnaces, flues, etc.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 Various

  • It is the opinion of this Commission that the expression "testing ... degrees by the polariscope," used with reference to sugar in the act, is to be considered as meaning the percentage of pure sucrose the sugar contains, as ascertained by polarimetric estimation.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 Various

  • Iceland spar is used chiefly in the optical instrument known as the polariscope.

    Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania Jewett Castello Gilson

  • I found by inclosing the glass in heavy iron tubes and exposing it for five hours to a temperature somewhat above that of melting zinc, and then allowing an hour or two for the cooling process, that the strong polarization figure which it displays in a polariscope was completely removed, and hence the glass annealed.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 303, October 22, 1881 Various

  • With a little practice this may be overcome and the neutral point found, but when it cannot, the ordinary telescope of the instrument may be replaced by another, which is furnished with the polariscope and which carries a yellow plate.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 Various

  • The polariscope, directed towards this region, showed an internal polarisation, but, when pointed to the side where the mist still prevailed, there was no polarisation.

    Wonderful Balloon Ascents

  • Until this is done, however, it will be necessary for the Internal Revenue Bureau to adopt, provisionally, one of the best existing forms of polariscope, and by carefully defining the scale of this instrument, establish a basis for its polarimetric work which will be a close approximation to an absolute standard, and upon which it can rely in case of any dispute arising as to the results obtained by the officers of the bureau.

    Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 Various


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  • So, of course, as the Century Dictionary kindly points out, "The tourmalin tongs, consisting of two transparent plates of tourmalin, cut parallel to the axis, and mounted in circular pieces of cork held in a kind of wire pincers, form the simplest kind of polariscope for viewing axial interference figures. The more complex and convenient forms have polarizing prisms of Iceland spar mounted in a vertical stand resembling that of a microscope, with a movable stage, coarse adjustment, and other arrangements."

    January 19, 2011

  • Ah. That clears it up nicely.

    January 19, 2011