An Optical Anomaly Possibly Due to Optical Activity in Some Uniaxial Opaque Ore Minerals

A. J. Hall, B. D. Cervelle and P. R. Simpson
Department of Applied Geology, University of Strathclyde, James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow G1 1XJ
Laboratoire de Minéralogie-Cristallographie, associé au C.N.R.S., Université Pierre et Marie-Curie, Tour 16, 4, place Jussieu, 75230 Paris Cedex 05
Institute of Geological Sciences, 64/78 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8NG

Summary: Spectral reflectance measurements on three uniaxial ore minerals, tellurium, chalcopyrite, and stibioluzonite, which are opaque at least in the visible part of the spectrum have revealed that the reflectance curve of the ordinary ray varies with crystallographic orientation of the polished section. The three minerals possess symmetries capable of exhibiting optical activity in transmitted light. A possible explanation, therefore, of the anomalous behaviour is that the optical constants, i.e. the refractive index and the absorption coefficient, and thus also the reflectance, of the ordinary ray may differ for sections cut normal to c where optical activity probably has its maximum effect and for sections cut parallel to c where there is probably little or no complication due to optical activity. There would therefore appear to be a need to extend the theory of reflection from absorbing media to include reflection from optically active absorbing minerals.

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1980 v. 43; no. 331; p. 909-912; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1980.043.331.15
© 1980, The Mineralogical Society
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