Universal Stage

universal stage

[¦yü·nə¦vər·səl ′stāj]
A stage attached to the rotating stage of a polarizing microscope that has three, four, or five axes and thin sections of low-symmetry minerals to be tilted about two mutually perpendicular horizontal axes. Also known as Fedorov stage; U stage.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Universal Stage


(also Fedorov stage), a special device attached to a polarizing microscope, enabling a thin section of a crystal to be held in various positions by rotating and tilting the section. The first model of a universal stage was proposed by E. S. Fedorov in 1891 and was based on the same principle as a theodolite, that is, on rotation about two horizontal axes at right angles. In 1896, Fedorov described a model with four axes; a fifth axis was added by the American scientist Emmons in 1929.

In the five-axis universal stage, the five axes are formed by three coupled theodolite systems and the axis of the microscope’s rotating stage. The universal stage is used to determine the optical isotropy, the optical axiality, the optical sign, the direction of the optical axes, the magnitude of the double refraction, and other optical properties of a crystal (seeCRYSTAL OPTICS).


Fedorov, E. S. Osnovaniia petrografii. St. Petersburg, 1897.
Sobolev, V. S. Fedorovskii metod. Moscow, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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