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A waveplate is an optical device widely used to alter the polarization of a wave of light travelling through it. This is available in different types such as half-wave plate that shifts the polarization direction and the quarter-wave plate that changes the circularly polarized light into linearly polarized light. It is designed from birefringent material in different thickness range that depends on the dimension of the crystal, the light wavelength, and index of refraction.
It is widely used in optical mineralogy. In addition, it is also used to make the optical identification of a range of minerals easier and faster.This plate is placed between the upright polarizers to permit two different procedures to be conducted for investigating the mineral.
Features of Waveplates:
1) Ideal to distinguish the direction of the optical indicatrix relative.
2) Transmits light and modifies polarization state.
3) Air-spaced design to ensure high damage threshold.
4) No wear, abrasion, cuts or scratches.