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double refraction

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noun Optics.
  1. the separation of a ray of light into two unequally refracted, plane-polarized rays of orthogonal polarizations, occurring in crystals in which the velocity of light rays is not the same in all directions.

Origin of double refraction

First recorded in 1870–75
Also called birefringence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for double refraction

double refraction

noun
  1. the splitting of a ray of unpolarized light into two unequally refracted rays polarized in mutually perpendicular planesAlso called: birefringence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012