Quartz Crystal Microbalance (Wikipedia)

In this experiment you will use a quartz crystal resonator to measure viscosity and mass.

Piezoelectric History

Although as early as the 18th century, crystals of certain minerals were known to generate electrical charge when heated (which also became known as pyroelectricity) it was two brothers who actually came to develop the actual "Piezoelectricty" used yet today. In 1880, brothers; Pierre and Jacques Curie, predicted and demonstrated a related phenomenon using tinfoil, glue, wire, magnets, and a jeweler's saw. They showed that crystals of tourmaline, quartz, topaz, cane sugar, and Rochelle salt generate electrical polarization from mechanical stress. This effect was named "piezoelectricity" after the Greek piezein, which means to squeeze or press.

Converse piezoelectricity was mathematically deduced from fundamental thermodynamic principles by Gabriel Lippmann in 1881.

The Curies immediately confirmed the existence of the "converse effect," and went on to obtain quantitative proof of the complete reversibility of electro-elasto-mechanical deformations in piezoelectric crystals.

The first practical application for piezoelectric devices was sonar, first developed during World War I. In France in 1917, Paul Langevin (whose development now bears his name) and his coworkers developed an ultrasonic submarine detector. The detector consisted of a transducer, made of thin quartz crystals carefully glued between two steel plates, and a hydrophone to detect the returned echo. By emitting a high-frequency chirp from the transducer, and measuring the amount of time it takes to hear an echo from the sound waves bouncing off an object, one can calculate the distance to that object. The use of piezoelectricity in sonar, and the success of that project, created intense development interest in piezoelectric devices. Over the next few decades, new piezoelectric materials and new applications for those materials were explored and developed.

Pierre Curie (1859-1906),
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1903
Jacques Curie (1856-1941) Gabriel Lippmann (1845-1921),
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1908