Yes, it’s true! Crystals can create electrical current. Scientists call it “piezoelectricity.”
Discovered by Pierre and Paul-Jacques Curie in 1880, a piezoelectric current may be created by applying pressure along specific axes to certain types of crystals such as quartz, tourmaline, and topaz.
This piezoelectric technology found some traction during World War I with sonar devices. Piezoelectric crystals can eloquently carry frequency of sound. In some cases, so much so that the sound won’t be heard by the human ear because the frequency is too high.
In other cases, piezoelectric crystals can be used to convert audio from a microphone into a current. This is the opposite of how this current works with a record player. When we’re listening to vinyl, there’s a tiny piezoelectric crystal at the end of the needle that vibrates from reading the grooves in a spiral route around the record. This electrical signal is translated by our stereo speakers.
Fascinating stuff huh? Join us for the next Tune-In Tuesday, and we’ll try to blow your mind again with the wonders of the cosmos.