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The British geologist and metallurgist Henry Clifton Sorby, 1826-1908. Sorby, working in his own laboratory, invented the technique of preparing thin sections of rocks which he examined under the microscope. In this way he was able to study the minerals in transmitted rather than in reflected light. Sorby, with this technique, together with the Nicol prism invented by the British physicist Nicol in 1828, was able to distinguish the different minerals present in a rock. Sorby's interest in meteorites led him to discover the crystalline structure of steel in 1863.
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