Nicol prism

[ nik-uhl ]
/ ˈnɪk əl /
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noun Optics.
one of a pair of prisms used to produce and analyze plane-polarized light in a polarizing microscope.
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Also called Nicol .

Origin of Nicol prism

First recorded in 1870–75; named after William Nicol (1768–1851), British physicist, its inventor

Words nearby Nicol prism

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How to use Nicol prism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Nicol prism

Nicol prism
/ (ˈnɪkəl) /

a device composed of two prisms of Iceland spar or calcite cut at specified angles and cemented together with Canada balsam. It is used for producing plane-polarized light

Word Origin for Nicol prism

C19: named after William Nicol (?1768–1851), Scottish physicist, its inventor
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