As an undergraduate some 60 years ago I took a course in optical mineralogy given by a paleontologist who used a particularly opaque textbook. I learned little. A few years after that, now in graduate school, I found myself a lab assistant in optical, taught by a professor who used no textbook but instead handed out his own clearly written mimeographed sheets adorned with simple hand-drawn diagrams. I learned the subject quickly and I think quite well. I have sought a text as elucidative as those mimeographed sheets ever since, but without success. Over the past several decades I have...

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