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ERIC Number: EJ912910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Characterization of a Piezoelectric Buzzer Using a Michelson Interferometer
Lloyd, S.; Paetkau, M.
Physics Teacher, v48 n9 p610-611 Dec 2010
A piezoelectric material generates an electric potential across its surface when subjected to mechanical stress; conversely, the inverse piezoelectric effect describes the expansion or contraction of the material when subjected to some applied voltage. Piezoelectric materials are used in devices such as doorbell buzzers, barbeque igniters, and also as the scanning and approach mechanisms in scanning probing microscopy. The assembly of a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) at Thompson Rivers University has motivated a characterization of the sensitivity and hysteresis of piezoelectric discs using a Michelson interferometer. The investigation uses an interferometer and a simple photodiode circuit to track the fringes. As a possible undergraduate lab, the measurement provides an introduction to piezoelectric materials (including hysteresis), the Michelson interferometer, and data acquisition techniques.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A