Mineralogical Society of America, Founded December 30, 1919
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Guide to Thin Section Microscopy
Michael M. Raith, Peter Raase, and Jurgen Reinhardt (2012, second edition) 127 pp. ISBN 978-3-00-037671-9 (English); 978-3-00-036420-4 (German); 978-3-00-040623-2 (Spanish); 978-3-00-046279-5 (Portuguese).
Optical thin section analysis is an essential tool for rock and mineral characterization, whether as a stand-alone method or in combination with microbeam and XRD techniques. This liberally illustrated guidebook provides a concise overview on the basics of polarized-light microscopy and its application to thin-section-based mineralogical and petrographic analysis. The larger part of the guide covers morphological and optical properties of minerals. There are further chapters on the principles of microscopic imaging including adjustment procedures for optimal microscope use, and on measuring lengths, angles and crystal plate thickness under the microscope. The book’s emphasis is on practical aspects and methodical approaches in thin section microscopy. It neither intends to cover the in-depth theoretical background of crystal optics, nor does it provide tabulated data for minerals. The guide is designed as an easily accessible learning resource for students, a teaching aid for instructors and a quick-reference manual for any geologist or mineralogist who uses the polarized-light microscope for thin section work.
Several of the chapters have reorganized and revised in the second edition, notably chapters 3.2, 3.4, 4.2.3. Chapter 3.2 now includes deformation-related features at the grain or thin section scale. The text and figures of chapter 3.4 have been revised and extended. Chapter 4.2.3 has undergone a major revision that should help the novice to better understand the physical background to some basic optical phenomena such as retardation and interference colours. The upgrade involves new calculated interference colour charts, including a new, previously unpublished Δn-d chart.
The second edition guide is available at no cost in English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The reduced-resolution versions give acceptable printouts in A4 format, whereas the print-quality versions give optimal reproduction of the color figures.
Thin Section Microscopy (1st edition, ISBN 978-3-00-033605-5) (12.3 MB pdf), no cost