Alpha quartz is a piezoelectric material. As such, it will yield voltage under stress. When shocked with high explosive systems, the material is also luminescent. This luminescence is quite intense and can be recorded on normal films at submicrosecond exposure times.
The luminescence appears in various patterns determined both by the explosive system used and by the orientation of the quartz.
Fused quartz exhibits luminescence to a lesser degree. Since fused quartz is not piezoelectric, it is helpful in the determination of the origin of the luminescence in crystalline alpha quartz.
This study of the origin of the luminescence in quartz was undertaken in an effort to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the behavior of quartz subjected to shock stresses.
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Physics & Astronomy
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Brooks, William P.. "Origins of Shock-Induced Luminescence in Quartz." (1962). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/phyc_etds/96