“The past eight or ten years,” the authors write, “have witnessed spectacular growth in piezoelectric device technology. During this period, both the sophistication and the variety of piezoelectric components in development or production have advanced remarkably.” These advances include new forms of older applications, like filters and transducers, the latter taking direct advantage of the defining characteristic of piezoelectricity—the coupling of mechanical and electrical effects. Additionally, a number of entirely new piezoelectric component applications have been explored in recent years—memory devices, electrooptic and elastooptic devices, logic elements, FM discriminators, high precision thermometers, among others.
At the same time, there has also been a great improvement in mathematical techniques for dealing with piezoelectric phenomena. These are the primary subject of this book, yet many of the devices mentioned have been built in large part by engineers working by trial and error with the limited theoretical tools of the 1940's/ Elimination of much of this trial and error could be expected if designers became acquainted with the much better mathematical equipment that is now available. With this in mind, the authors—while focusing on basic principles and theoretical techniques rather than on particular configurations—explain as often as possible just how an engineer could apply those new principles and techniques to real design problems.
The primary goal of the work is to introduce and explicate general concepts. For this reason, the authors have organized their book so that many of the discussions pertain to ferroelectric ceramics, which form the piezoelectric material symmetry class that is the simplest to represent analytically. This minimizes the risk of losing the reader in a morass of details. In almost every case where specific results are restricted to ferroelectric ceramics, the general concepts are in no way so restricted, and the engineer who is working with more complicated materials will be able to apply these concepts in an appropriate form to his own design problems.