piezoelectric effect

piezoelectric effect (pĪēˌzōĭlĕkˈtrĭk) [key], voltage produced between surfaces of a solid dielectric (nonconducting substance) when a mechanical stress is applied to it. A small current may be produced as well. The effect, discovered by Pierre Curie in 1883, is exhibited by certain crystals, e.g., quartz and Rochelle salt, and ceramic materials. When a voltage is applied across certain surfaces of a solid that exhibits the piezoelectric effect, the solid undergoes a mechanical distortion. Piezoelectric materials are used in transducers, e.g., phonograph cartridges, microphones, and strain gauges, which produce an electrical output from a mechanical input, and in earphones and ultrasonic radiators, which produce a mechanical output from an electrical input. Piezoelectric solids typically resonate within narrowly defined frequency ranges; when suitably mounted they can be used in electric circuits as components of highly selective filters or as frequency-control devices for very stable oscillators.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on piezoelectric effect from Fact Monster:

  • Rochelle salt - Rochelle salt Rochelle salt, colorless to blue-white orthorhombic crystalline salt with a saline, ...
  • crystal: Physical Properties of Crystals - Physical Properties of Crystals Crystals differ in physical properties, i.e., in hardness, ...
  • zinc oxide - zinc oxide zinc oxide, chemical compound, ZnO, that is nearly insoluble in water but soluble in ...
  • microphone - microphone microphone, device for converting sound into electrical energy, used in radio ...
  • Encyclopedia: Electrical Engineering - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Electrical Engineering.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Electrical Engineering

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe