Petrographic Microscope also known as the polarizing microscope is a precision instrument that is being used to observe the attributes and properties of minerals.
This type of microscope is usually being used in Mineralogy and Petrology. Mineralogy is a part of geology concentrating in the systematic study of physical properties of minerals, main source and structure of minerals, categorization of minerals, their geographical distribution, and also their utilization.
Petrology is a branch of geology that deals with the study of composition, appearance and structure of rocks, distribution, occurrence and state of origin. The subdiscipline of petrography is related originally with the methodical research and description of rocks with the use of petrographic microscope.
Polarizing microscopes are created like ordinary microscope, but are suitable with some additional features. Different from other normal microscopes which use typical light, this kind of microscope uses polarized light to examine specimens.
The light waves shakes in one way that is in polarized light while in normal light, the wave of light vibrates in no definite directions. This type of microscope differs from others because it includes this parts: a polarizer and analyzer, bertrand lens, a polarizer, analyzer and special filters that are placed between the object and light pathway.
The advantages of a polarized microscopes are:
- It provides primary recognition on the object that was analyzed first by light microscopy and gross examination.
- The analysis on fiber is specific.
- The analyzation is prompt and only needs short preparation time.
Some of its disadvantage are:
- The process only requires a little amount of the specimen for the examination.
- The method requires a higher of sophistication on the part of the researcher.
- Not all filaments present can be seen even the use of a phase-polar illumination.
Polarizing microscopes is also used in some fields of science like medicine, chemistry, biology and metallurgy where in they greatly benefit in its polarization. Specimens that can be studied using this microscopes are minerals, ceramics, woods, urea, polymers and many non-transparent or thick materials.
The interaction among the adapter and the polarizer enables the researchers to gather information about the properties of the sample like the color intensity, composition and texture of an anisotropic material.These anisotropic substances can be examined under a polarizing microscope that enhances the property of the image specially its contrast.