Optical Birefringence

The following images were prepared by evaporating various chemical compounds onto slides, causing them to crystalize. Crystals interact with light totally differently depending on their molecular structure, and when viewed under a polarizing microscope, subtle details can be observed that would otherwise remain invisible under normal lighting conditions. Optical birefringence, or double refraction, refers to transparent materials that bend light more than once as the light passes through it. Similarly, the polarizing microscope is designed to filter the angles and frequencies of light variably, resulting in stunningly abstract and colorful images.

Special thanks to Blake Estes for preparing these slides himself. His scientific work is phenomenal.

Class: Scientific Photography / Scott Miles