• WordNet 3.6
    • n pyroelectricity generation of an electric charge on certain crystals (such as tourmaline) as a result of a change in temperature
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pyroelectricity (Physics) Electricity developed by means of heat; the science which treats of electricity thus developed.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pyroelectricity That branch of electricity which considers the production of a state of electrification in certain crystallized bodies by change of temperature alone. Thus, when a prismatic crystal of tourmalin is slightly heated, positive electricity is found to be developed at one extremity (called the analogous pole) and negative at the other (the antilogous pole). If the crystal is cooled, similar properties are developed, but the poles are reversed. Many other crystals show the same property, especially those whose molecular structure differs at the opposite extremities of the same crystallographicaxis (like tourmalin) — that is, which are hemimorphic or hemihedral. The unlike parts of a compound (twin) crystal of quartz become dissimilarly electrified by change of temperature. This can be well shown by shaking over a heated section of such a crystal a mixture of red lead and sulphur; the former collects on the parts which are negatively, the latter on those which are positively electrified. The phenomenon is closely related to the variations in stress which occur in the crystal when its temperature is altered. By some writers pyro-electricity is used to include also the phenomena of thermoelectricity, which, however, are totally different in character.
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In news:

Pyroelectric Crystals Could Enable the First Truly Portable X-Ray Machine.

In science:

In order to normalise the flux as measured at the output of the bench (useful also for fine-tuning of beam injection into the SMF), we have installed a simple pyroelectric detector at one of the redundant outputs of the beam-splitter subsystem.
Tests of achromatic phase shifters performed on the SYNAPSE test bench: a progress report
However, the direct detection of the electrical polarization by, for example, a pyroelectric current measurement, is hard to perform because of the low resistivity around TCO2 [230].
Multiferroicity, The coupling between magnetic and polarization
Same tests were performed for a pyroelectric module.
Terahertz photometer to observe solar flares in continuum
Pyroelectric materials (uniaxial crystals without inversion symmetry) usually exhibit electric dipole spin resonance which can increase the spin flip rate significantly by strongly coupling the spin to phonons.
A Self Assembled Nanoelectronic Quantum Computer Based on the Rashba Effect in Quantum Dots
The relative energy of each laser pulse will be measured by directing a small fraction of the beam into a pyroelectric energy probe.
Summary Report of JEM-EUSO Workshop at KICP in Chicago