Daily Current Affairs Update: 31 March, 2023

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Piezoelectric Effect in Liquids

  • For the first time, scientists have reported evidence of the piezoelectric effect in liquids.

About piezoelectric effect

  • Piezoelectric effect was found in 2 pure ionic liquids (i.e. liquids made of ions instead of molecules) at room temperature.
  • The liquids also displayed the inverse piezoelectric effect: they became distorted when an electric charge was applied.
  • Piezoelectric effect - It is a phenomenon where specific types of material produce an electric charge proportional to the mechanical stress applied to them.
  • The piezoelectric effect was discovered in 1880, in quartz.
  • Quartz, topaz, etc. are few examples of piezoelectric crystals.

Effect in liquids

  • The reason the piezoelectric effect has only been expected in solids thus far is that the body being squeezed needs to have an organised structure, like the pyramids of quartz.
  • Liquids don’t have such structure; instead, they take the shape of their container.
  • Physicists explain the effect using a combination of Hooke’s law – that the force required to squeeze an object is linearly (i.e. non-exponentially) proportional to the amount of squeezing – and the properties of dielectric materials.
  • These are materials that don’t conduct electricity but whose electrons are still mildly affected by an electric field.

New applications of this discovery

  • Using this effect, the liquids can be used as lenses with dynamic focusing abilities