Illustration of Flexoelectricity

1961 Flexoelectricity

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Kirill Tolpygo electromagnetism Illustration of Flexoelectricity


Kirill Tolpygo developed a quantum-mechanical theory of optical and elastic properties of crystals. Crystals in a lattice deform under stress. Kirill Tolpygo predicted when they bend nonuniformly then they generate an electric field.

Crystal terms

Shells of ions in a dielectric crystal lattice can bend. Ionic crystals, homopolar crystals, cryocrystals, molecular crystals. Deformations can introduce Coulomb interactions.

Stored energy

A long rubber band powers my balsa glider. I wind it until the band knots front to back. Released, the glider soars through invisible air. I am released from earth like a bird. Its balsa, plastic propeller, and metal hooks maintain static integrity until they hit the barn. Everything’s dynamic, bending in space and time, undergoing stresses while electrons are careening.

Rubber bands and balsa gliders have nothing to do with flexoelectricity (except metaphorically), since no part of the glider is a crystal and no operation of the glider generates an electric field.

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