Monthly Archives: August 2011

Piezo electric effect – Sounds familiar?

So how does a kitchen lighter work?

The spark in a gas lighter is generated because of the high voltage created across the terminals of an array of quartz crystals. The voltage across this crystal is generated because of a phenomenon called piezoelectric effect. When the crystals  contract across its cross section, a voltage is generated across the surface of the quartz crystals.

When the terminals connected to its surface are routed via two wires and held close to each other, electrons jump from one terminal to another creating a spark!
The button press simultaneously supplies adequate gas which around these closely placed terminals and a spark ignites the gas to make a sufficient flame!

This I figured out while trying to fix my gas lighter. May be I am foolish to have not known about the spark thing till now, now but I am kind of happy that I learned about a specific example (day to day usage) which demonstrates piezoelectric effect.
Wish these were examples which they used during school to explain concepts like these more interactively to students. May be my learning has just started :(