"Birefringence" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
The property of nonisotropic media, such as crystals, whereby a single incident beam of light traverses the medium as two beams, each plane-polarized, the planes being at right angles to each other. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)
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