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Research history of tourmaline (See All)

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When did the electric stone appear in literature?

Paul Fleury Mottelay says that the electric stone appeared in literature for the first time in 1707. According to him, Pyroelectricity is mentioned in the novel "Curious Speculations During Sleepless Nights" written by John George Schmidt. However, it was simply regarded as a thermal phenomenon.

It appeared in Memories de l'Academie des Science published by the French Academy of Sciences in 1717, which was written by Lemery. Not only John George Schmidt but also he regarded it as a thermal phenomenon.

When were the electric characteristics found?

It is said that the first electronic characteristic of tourmaline found was the pyroelectric phenomenon. It appeared in academic literature in 1756, which was written by Epinus and published by the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy. It started to become clear the relations between the thermal and pyroelectric phenomena.

Observation of the pyroelectric effect

The relations between the thermal and pyroelectric phenomena were made clear by research (4) conducted by Noya, Wilson and Canton in 1750-1770.
Hauy categorized crystals and completed "Traité de Minéralogie" (5) in 1801. He concluded that some crystals cause the pyroelectric phenomena (6).

Becquerel, Forbes and Hankel successfully measured electric charge generated by the pyroelectric effect using a potentiometer (7). Becquerel discovered that temperature changes generate electric charge in 1828. Forbes improved a torsion potentiometer and verified Becquerel's reserach result in 1836. Hankel conducted an experiment using a potentiometer in 1848 and published a lot of papers on pyroelectricity.

Electric charge generated by the pyroelectric effect had been measured but the relations with temperature had not been expressed in formulas.

The pyroelectric phenomena expressed in formulas

W. Thomson tried to establish formulas of the pyroelectric phenomena after he predicted a reverse pyroelectric effect phenomenon in "On the thermal effects of fluids in motion" (8) but his theory was not complete because the amount of electric charge was not included as a parameter in related formulas.

Riecke introduced electronic charge related formulas and successfully expressed the pyroelectric phenomena in formulas (9) in 1885.

Discovery of the piezoelectric phenomena

Piezoelectric phenomena were discovered by the Curie brothers (Pierre and Jacque Curie) in 1880 while conducting an experiment on pyroelectricity (10).

This does not mean no one had paid attention to this phenomenon before the discovery. A paper authored by Cady says that Hauy and Becquerel conducted an experiment and found that some crystals generate electricity when pressure is applied to them as predicted by Coulomb (11). Becquerel actually published a paper on piezoelectricity in 1823 (12).

(1) Mottelay,P.F.,1922,Bibliographical history of electricity & magnetism, Charles Griffin & Company Ltd.,London,p.152
(2) Mottelay,P.F.,1922,Bibliographical history of electricity & magnetism, Charles Griffin & Company Ltd.,London,p.153
(3) Lang,S.B.,1974, Sourcebook of Pyroelectricity, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers,p102
(4) Lang,S.B.,1974, Sourcebook of Pyroelectricity, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers,pp106-116
(5) Haüy,R.J.,1801,Traite de Mineralogie
(6) Lang,S.B.,1974, Sourcebook of Pyroelectricity, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers,p116-117
(7) Lang,S.B.,1974, Sourcebook of Pyroelectricity, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers,p119-123
(8) Thomson,W.,Math.Phys.Papers l ,p.316
(9) Riecke,E.,1885,Nachr.Ges.d.Wiss.Gott.,ss405-440
(10) Curie, P.,1880, Bull.soc.min. de France, T.3.pp.90-93 ; Comp.Rend.,T.91,pp294-295
(11) Cady,W.G.,1946,Piezoelectricity,Dover Pub.Inc.,p.177
(12) Becquerel,A.C.,1823,Ann..Chim.Phy.T.22

[Please note]
There is sparse information about research history of the pyroelectricity/piezoelectricity effects caused by tourmaline. We refer to and quote from this literature as the events are presented in chronological order.
The history of Pyro-Piezoelectricity in the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth Century (Japanese version only)
·Journal Title: Papers of Technical Meeting on History of Electrical Engineering, IEE Japan(2000)
Author: Masaharu Nemoto
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