Spherulites in Polarized Light

This Java tutorial explores how crystals with spherulitic growth patterns appear under a polarized light microscope. As the applet initializes, the sample will slowly spin. Please wait until it has finished spinning before attempting to operate the tutorial

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To operate this tutorial, use the mouse cursor to move the slider bars back and forth. The slider on the left will rotate the sample through 360 degrees as it is moved from left to right. The slider on the right has three positions: 1) The left position introduces a quarter-wavelength quartz plate into the optical pathway, 2) The center position is polarized light through crossed polarizers; and 3) The right position introduces a 540 nanometer retardation plate into the pathway.

Contributing Authors

Mortimer Abramowitz - Olympus America, Inc., Two Corporate Center Drive., Melville, New York, 11747.

Matthew J. Parry-Hill and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.