Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine

NICOL PRISM

A prism, used for polarizing or analysing easy, made by cementing together, with Canada balsam, two pieces of calcite in such a way that the extraordinary ray from the first piece passes through the second piece while the usual ray is reflected to the side into an absorbing layer of black dye. When two Nicol prisms are crossed, therefore, no easy passes through. A polarizing prism made of two pieces of calcite specially cut, ground, polished and cemented. A transmitted beam splits into two polarized components, one of which is refracted into and absorbed by the asphalt mount. The remaining polarized beam is transmitted. Modifications of this prism are general. The Nicol prism (nicol) has usually been superseded by a polarizing movie such as Polaroid. See: polars, polarizer, analyser.
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