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Rock Collectors Club

Optical Calcite (medium)

Optical Calcite (medium)

Regular price $20.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $20.00 USD
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Optical calcite, also known as Iceland spar, is a transparent form of calcite mineral with remarkable optical properties. When a ray of light enters an optical calcite crystal, it is split into two rays, which travel at different speeds and in different directions. This phenomenon is called double refraction or birefringence.

The crystal structure of optical calcite consists of stacked layers of calcium carbonate molecules. These layers are aligned parallel to the crystal's optical axis, which is the direction in which light travels most easily through the crystal. When a ray of light enters the crystal perpendicular to the optical axis, it is split into two rays that travel along different paths. The angle between these two rays depends on the thickness of the crystal and the angle of incidence of the light.

Optical calcite is commonly used in optical instruments such as polarizing microscopes, optical filters, and prism assemblies. It is also used in geological studies to help identify minerals and in some industrial processes as a refractory material.

In addition to its scientific and industrial uses, optical calcite is also prized by mineral collectors and enthusiasts for its unique optical properties and beautiful crystal formations. Some optical calcite crystals exhibit a phenomenon known as "twinning," where two crystals grow together in a mirror-image pattern. These twinned crystals can form intricate geometric shapes and are highly sought after by collectors.

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