In this chapter we relate the interaction of light with minerals to the study of mineral crystal chemistry. The chemistry of a mineral affects its optical properties, especially its refractive index. Refractometry is the technique used to measure the refractive indices of minerals. This chapter explores how the refractive index of a mineral is measured and how the refractive index relates to crystal structure.
Topics covered in Chapter 18 include:
• Refractive Indices and Minerals
• Measuring Refractive Indices
• Spindle Stage
• Absorption and Pleochroism
• Relating Optic Properties to Crystal Chemistry
• Calculating Refractive Indices
• Relationship to Density and Bonding
• Gladstone-Dale Relationship
• How to Build a Spindle Stage and Oil Cell
This Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy Series is specifically designed to take full advantage of digital media technology to empower students and teachers of mineralogy. Using color photographs, illustrations, movies, 3D models that can be rotated, interactive diagrams, and review questions, this series makes a challenging subject approachable. Also, each chapter in the series is available separately allowing the reader to pick and choose only those chapters they need for their specific course.