Yes, that's right, a science museum had an exhibit on optical mineralogy.
There were a bunch of different samples of rock types with a hand magnifier to look at them, but at the top, there were two screens that kept rotating through a series of images taken with a polarized light microscope. There wasn't much information about the images, but they were at least pretty to look at & had names that lined up well with the hand samples below. Some of the images were taken with the analyzer in & some with it out, but it didn't go into any details, unfortunately. Here's a shot of the full display, with a cross-polars view of a garnet mica schist in the screen.
|The Earth Rocks! exhibit at AZSC.|
So that pretty much made my day. I enjoy teaching optical mineralogy, but it is very tough to do, even with dedicated geology majors. Maybe if there were a few more exhibits like this in the world of science museums, my job would get a shade easier. And of course, if more people in the world knew even a few basics about how to identify rocks, we'd all be a lot better off!
So on one final note, who can name this dark brown, wedge-shaped beauty in the center of this image?