Letter | Published:

Optical Properties of Dental Enamel

Nature volume 143, pages 682683 (22 April 1939) | Download Citation



IT has been known for many years that dental enamel is birefringent; and its optical properties have been studied intensively by W. J. Schmidt and his pupils1. In a recent paper2, I have shown by X-ray examination that an enamel prism contains a multitude of regularly arranged crystallites of apatite, and have worked out in detail the orientation of these crystallites for human deciduous enamel. It was therefore felt to be of interest to determine whether the optical and X-ray results could be correlated.


  1. 1.

    For a survey of this work, see , Kolloid Z. 83, 86 (1938).

  2. 2.

    , Proc. Roy. Soc., B, in the Press.

  3. 3.

    , Ann. Chim. Phys., A (2), 17, 167 (1821).

  4. 4.

    , "Wien-Harms Handb. exp. Physik", Leipzig, 18, 540 (1928).

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  1. Physics Department, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. March 9.

    • J. THEWLIS


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