A piezoelectric transducer is a device that can convert acoustic waves to electrical impulses, or vice versa. It consists of a crystal, such as quartz or ceramic material, sandwiched between two metal plates, as shown in the illustration.

When an acoustic wave strikes one or both of the plates, the metal vibrates. This vibration is transferred to the crystal. The crystal generates weak electric currents when it is subjected to mechanical stress. Therefore, an alternating-current (AC) voltage develops between the two metal plates, with a waveform similar to that of the sound waves.

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