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This manual of essentials for the setup and operation of a polarized light microscope for microscopic particle characterization and identification grew out of a need on the part of the Hooke College of Applied Sciences, a member of The McCrone Group, for a suitable modern textbook for use in their microscopy courses. d104books involving use of the polarized light microscope that are already available are almost exclusively intended for students of mineralogy and the study of rocks. What was needed was an up-to-date, fresh approach to applied polarized light microscopy as required for such diverse applications as industrial problem solving, contaminant identification, bioterrorism and other hazardous material identification, trace evidence analysis, household dust and air pollution analysis, particulate health hazards, product manufacturing monitoring, degradation analysis, paint and pigment analysis, etc. The essentials described in this manual have a rich history going back hundreds of years and are a heritage still eminently useful and applicable in this modern age, and for the forseeable future. In addition to its use in Hooke College classes, the present edition will also find use in other institutions of learning, and can be used for independent study.