One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Electric polarization in a substance (especially certain crystals) resulting from the application of mechanical stress.
Piezoelectric substances are able to convert mechanical signals (such as sound waves) into electrical signals, and vice versa. They are therefore widely used in microphones, phonograph pickups, and earphones, and also to generate a spark for igniting gas
- ‘Electricity as a natural phenomenon shows up in many forms, including piezoelectricity, static electricity, atmospheric effects, and cosmic rays.’
- ‘Our observation confirms that prestin is indeed a motor protein based on piezoelectricity.’
- ‘During the week, floating tiles would generate energy through piezoelectricity, a 19 th-century technology that is used to power quartz watches.’
- ‘Thus, electrical and mechanical changes are coupled, analogous to piezoelectricity.’
- ‘The motile mechanism of the outer hair cell is analogous to piezoelectricity in that it is based on direct electromechanical coupling, in which charge is transferred across the membrane.’
Late 19th century: from Greek piezein ‘press, squeeze’ + electricity.
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