Microscopy is a servant of all the sciences, and the microscopic examina tion of minerals is an important technique which should be mastered by all students of geology early in their careers. Advanced modern text books on both optics and mineralogy are available, and our intention is not that this new textbook should replace these but that it should serve as an introductory text or a first stepping-stone to the study of optical mineralogy. The present text has been written with full awareness that it will probably be used as a laboratory handbook, serving as a quick reference to the properties of minerals, but nevertheless care has been taken to present a systematic explanation of the use of the microscope as well as theoretical aspects of optical mineralogy. The book is therefore suitable for the novice either studying as an individual or participating in classwork. Both transmitted-light microscopy and reflected-light microscopy are dealt with, the former involving examination of transparent minerals in thin section and the latter involving examination of opaque minerals in polished section. Reflected-light microscopy is increasing in importance in undergraduate courses on ore mineralisation, but the main reason for combining the two aspects of microscopy is that it is no longer acceptable to neglect opaque minerals in the systematic petrographic study of rocks. Dual purpose microscopes incorporating transmitted- and reflected-light modes are readily available, and these are ideal for the study of polished thin sections.
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