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The goal of this lab session is to introduce you to the spindle stage and its possible uses in an undergraduate mineralogy lab. A spindle stage is a one-axis rotation device that mounts on a polarizing microscope and is used to aid in the measurement of optical properties of single crystals. At the undergraduate level, it can be used to identify minerals and to demonstrate the relationships among grain shape, retardation, and interference figures. A natural extension of these uses is undergraduate research on the optical properties of minerals.
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