Abstract

Explanations of Haidinger’s brushes based on a postulated array of linear dichroic pigment and bi-refringent effects in the refracting media of the eye are not completely satisfactory. As an alternative explanation, it is postulated that the retina has properties similar to an anisotropic absorbing crystal. The interference effects of convergent polarized light in this model may account for Haidinger’s brushes.

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  1. H. von Helmholtz, Treatise on Physiological Optics, transl. edited by J. P. C. Southall (Optical Society of America, 1924; Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1964), Vol. 2, pp. 304–306.
  2. W. A. Shurcliff, Polarized Light: Production and Use (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1962), p. 206.
  3. H. H. Seliger and W. D. McElroy, Light: Physical and Biological Action (Academic Press Inc., New York, 1965), pp. 301–304.
  4. W. A. Shurcliff and S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (D. Van Nostrand Inc., Princeton, N. J., 1964), pp. 95–98.
  5. W. A. Shurcliff, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 399 (1955).
  6. S. I. Vavilow, The Human Eye and the Sun, transl. O. M. Blumm (Pergamon Press, Ltd., Oxford, 1965), p. 89.
  7. G. N. Ramachandran and S. Ramaseshan in Handbuch der Physik 25/1, S. Flügge, Ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1961), p. 145.
  8. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics (Pergamon Press, Inc., New York, 1964), 2nd ed., p. 710.
  9. Reference 8, p. 258.
  10. Reference 8, pp. 705–708.
  11. T. H. Waterman, Am. Scientist 54, 15 (1966).
  12. Some authors11 claim to have observed dichroic pigment. Denton [E. J. Denton, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B150, 78 (1959)] has observed dichroic effects of the outer rod segments, but this dichroism can be attributed to the parallel-plate structure of the outer rod segments. This structure can be seen in electron micrographs.11 There is no need to invoke an instrinsic pigment property, and no dichroic pigment, as such, seems ever to have been detected.

Ballard, S. S.

W. A. Shurcliff and S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (D. Van Nostrand Inc., Princeton, N. J., 1964), pp. 95–98.

Born, M.

M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics (Pergamon Press, Inc., New York, 1964), 2nd ed., p. 710.

Denton, E. J.

Some authors11 claim to have observed dichroic pigment. Denton [E. J. Denton, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B150, 78 (1959)] has observed dichroic effects of the outer rod segments, but this dichroism can be attributed to the parallel-plate structure of the outer rod segments. This structure can be seen in electron micrographs.11 There is no need to invoke an instrinsic pigment property, and no dichroic pigment, as such, seems ever to have been detected.

McElroy, W. D.

H. H. Seliger and W. D. McElroy, Light: Physical and Biological Action (Academic Press Inc., New York, 1965), pp. 301–304.

Ramachandran, G. N.

G. N. Ramachandran and S. Ramaseshan in Handbuch der Physik 25/1, S. Flügge, Ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1961), p. 145.

Ramaseshan, S.

G. N. Ramachandran and S. Ramaseshan in Handbuch der Physik 25/1, S. Flügge, Ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1961), p. 145.

Seliger, H. H.

H. H. Seliger and W. D. McElroy, Light: Physical and Biological Action (Academic Press Inc., New York, 1965), pp. 301–304.

Shurcliff, W. A.

W. A. Shurcliff, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 399 (1955).

W. A. Shurcliff, Polarized Light: Production and Use (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1962), p. 206.

W. A. Shurcliff and S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (D. Van Nostrand Inc., Princeton, N. J., 1964), pp. 95–98.

Vavilow, S. I.

S. I. Vavilow, The Human Eye and the Sun, transl. O. M. Blumm (Pergamon Press, Ltd., Oxford, 1965), p. 89.

von Helmholtz, H.

H. von Helmholtz, Treatise on Physiological Optics, transl. edited by J. P. C. Southall (Optical Society of America, 1924; Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1964), Vol. 2, pp. 304–306.

Waterman, T. H.

T. H. Waterman, Am. Scientist 54, 15 (1966).

Wolf, E.

M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics (Pergamon Press, Inc., New York, 1964), 2nd ed., p. 710.

Other

H. von Helmholtz, Treatise on Physiological Optics, transl. edited by J. P. C. Southall (Optical Society of America, 1924; Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1964), Vol. 2, pp. 304–306.

W. A. Shurcliff, Polarized Light: Production and Use (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1962), p. 206.

H. H. Seliger and W. D. McElroy, Light: Physical and Biological Action (Academic Press Inc., New York, 1965), pp. 301–304.

W. A. Shurcliff and S. S. Ballard, Polarized Light (D. Van Nostrand Inc., Princeton, N. J., 1964), pp. 95–98.

W. A. Shurcliff, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 399 (1955).

S. I. Vavilow, The Human Eye and the Sun, transl. O. M. Blumm (Pergamon Press, Ltd., Oxford, 1965), p. 89.

G. N. Ramachandran and S. Ramaseshan in Handbuch der Physik 25/1, S. Flügge, Ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1961), p. 145.

M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics (Pergamon Press, Inc., New York, 1964), 2nd ed., p. 710.

Reference 8, p. 258.

Reference 8, pp. 705–708.

T. H. Waterman, Am. Scientist 54, 15 (1966).

Some authors11 claim to have observed dichroic pigment. Denton [E. J. Denton, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B150, 78 (1959)] has observed dichroic effects of the outer rod segments, but this dichroism can be attributed to the parallel-plate structure of the outer rod segments. This structure can be seen in electron micrographs.11 There is no need to invoke an instrinsic pigment property, and no dichroic pigment, as such, seems ever to have been detected.

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