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Piezoelectricity, also called the piezoelectric effect, is the ability of certain materials to generate an AC (alternating current) voltage when subjected to mechanical stress or vibration, or to vibrate when subjected to an AC voltage, or both. The most common piezoelectric material is quartz. Certain ceramics, Rochelle salts, and various other solids also exhibit this effect. A quartz crystal is a piezoelectric material that can generate a voltage proportional to the stress applied upon it. The most familiar application of quartz crystal would be quartz watches. Quartz watches have 300 times higher accuracy than mechanical watches which used to be popular in old times. This high accuracy was realized by the invention of the quartz crystal unit and IC.