Polarizing microscopes are also known as petrographic microscopes. Polarized light microscopy uses polarizing light with transmitted and incident illumination. It works by enhancing contrast to inspect birefringent materials.
Polarizing microscopes are used in geology, chemistry, medicine, pharmaceuticals, optical mineralogy, and petrography. They are used in petrographic examination to inspect concrete aggregates, mortars, building stones for signs of degradation. They can also be used for asbestos identification and bulk fiber counting.