82 The piezoelectric effect

Some materials that appear in nature, such as quartz, possess the piezoelectric effect. That is to say when an alternating voltage is applied to a suitably sized quartz crystal it will vibrate at the same frequency as the applied voltage. This is because the application of the voltage changes the electrical polarity of the crystal and in the process causes a mechanical strain. This is known as the 'motor effect' and in order to achieve it the accurately sized crystal is placed between metal plates to produce a circuit like the one shown in Fig. 8.1.

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