Bertin has shown that a useful picture of the form of these curves may be obtained by taking sections, parallel to the plate, of a surface that he calls the "isochromatic surface," and that is the locus of points on the crystal at which the relative retardation of two plane waves passing simultaneously through a given point and travelling in the same direction has an assigned value.
The isochromatic lines, unless the dispersion be excessive, follow in the main the course of the curves of constant retardation, and the principal lines of like polarization are with a crossed polarizer and analyser dark brushes, that in certain cases are fringed with colour.
Two different types of fringes can be observed in photoelasticity: isochromatic and isoclinic fringes.
A standard plane polariscope shows both isochromatic and isoclinic fringes, and this makes quantitative stress analysis difficult.
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