• The structure and optical behaviour of iridescent crystals of potassium chlorate

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    • Keywords


      Symmetry Plane; Monochromatic Light; Geometric Pattern; Reflection Pattern; Vibration Direction

    • Abstract


      Iridescent crystals of potassium chlorate exhibit geometric patterns of reflection and extinction respectively when a field of diffuse monochromatic light is viewed by reflection at or transmission through the crystal. The patterns consist in general of four closed curves, two of which are polarised with their vibration directions parallel to the plane of symmetry of the crystal and the two others perpendicular thereto. The configuration of the patterns exhibits a perfect concordance with the spectral character of the reflections or extinctions observed with incident white light at corresponding azimuths of incidence and thus furnishes a complete picture of such spectral behaviour. Photographs of the geometric patterns are reproduced with the paper as also of the conoscopic patterns exhibited by the iridescent crystals on the stage of a polarising microscope. The paper also reports the observation that the twinned crystals of potassium chlorate function as diffraction gratings and give polarised spectra when light traverses them along their composition planes of twinning.

    • Author Affiliations


      C V Raman1 D Krishnamurti1

      1. From the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore-6
    • Dates


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