Electricity from Piezoelectric materials
Easy experiment that shows how to get electricity from Piezoelectric materials, a clean source of electricity. Also, some interesting applications. (11/13/2008)
The "piezoelectric" effect was discovered about 1880 by Jacques & Pierre (The Curie brothers). They found out that when a mechanical stress was applied on crystals such as tourmaline, topaz, quartz, Rochelle salt and cane sugar, - YES! cane sugar! - electrical charges appeared, and this voltage was proportional to the stress. That means, more force = more electricity. How much electricity??? let's find it!
To make a simple experiment, we need to get a piezoelectric. As sugar cane breaks easily and can be a little messy, we can get the piezoelectric speaker from a broken watch clock. Any alarm watch clock can be used.
I did connect a BLUE LED using solder, but tape will work also. Just apply some tape connecting each LED leads to the white side and the opposite of the piezoelectric speaker.
Now, using a pen, pencil or marker, tap the piezoelectric surface and the LED will lit.
Some applications for this interesting effects are:
The piezoelectric effect occurs only in non conductive materials and are divided in 2 main groups: crystals and ceramics. The most well known material is quartz (SiO2) as this easily available. A simple way to generate electricity is using a Rijke Tube.
Do you know any other application for piezoelectric materials?
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