one of a pair of prisms used to produce and analyze plane-polarized light in a polarizing microscope.Also called Nic·ol.Compare polarizer(def 1).
Why Privacy Is Our 2013 Word of the Year
the Wadsworth Constant
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of Nicol prism
1870–75; after William Nicol (1768–1851), British physicist, its inventor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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