Illustration of Piezoelectricity

1880 Piezoelectricity

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Pierre Curie, Jacques Curie, Gabriel Lippmann electromagnetism Illustration of Piezoelectricity


The brothers Jacques and Pierre Curie showed that certain crystals produce an electric charge when under mechanical stress, particularly tourmaline, quartz, topaz, sugar, and Rochelle salt. Gabriel Lippmann deduced the converse effect from thermodynamic principles, and the Curie brothers swiftly confirmed that an electric charge causes a mechanical deformation of the same crystals.

Piezoelectric uses

Sonar transducers phonograph needle cartridges buzzers, solid-state speakers microphones quartz watches ultrasonic transducers for material analysis and backup proximity sensors automobile airbag sensors igniters for stoves and grills


If you made a transducer to convert gravity into levity would you unleash it on the world? Time to get serious about not making money doing what we love.

A transducer converts one form of energy into another. But the energy must be dynamic; you can’t simply put a weight on a piece of quartz to generate electricity indefinitely.

See also in The book of science:

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