Piezoelectricity Is An Alternative Form of Energy for Self-Locomotion
Piezoelectricity is an electric charge that occurs in some materials from stress or pressure. These solid materials include crystals, ceramics, and even living organisms (i.e., bone, DNA, proteins).
We can use this force to power very small devices, at the nanoscale. Taken together with advances in machine learning, these microscopic movements could be controlled into a symphony of activity that, when added together at larger scales, help us manipulate our world in new ways.
Piezoelectricity was discovered by two scientists in 1880. They were the Curie brothers. Pierre was the prodigy, who showed an early affinity for mathematics and chemistry. Jacques was the older brother who kept him in line.
As with most inventions, their tools were crude in the beginning: glue, magnets, tinfoil, wire. But what they lacked in material, they gained in eagerness.
Through their experiments, they discovered that the physics of this nano-electricity worked both ways. Namely, squeeze a quartz crystal and it produces an electric signal. Apply an electric signal to a quartz crystal and it deforms.
They went on to become professors of physics, chemistry, and mineralogy. How grand the places fascination will take you.
Sean agrees with this fact based on:
We've known about it for almost 150 years.
Nanogenerators: Introduction & Piezoelectric Nanogenerators
Piezoelectricity: The Future of Energy
Piezoelectric Nanogenerators for Self-Powered Nanodevices
March 1880: The Curie Brothers Discover Piezoelectricity, APS Physics, March 2014
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