Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the earth. the beauty of quartz crytsals makes it popular as ornaments and pendulums reputed by spiritual activist to channel and help transform energies .In addition, quartz crystals do have technological applications that are related, in a sense, to transforming energy. In technical terms, quartz is piezoelectric, meaning it can transform energy from one form to another.
If any mechanical pressure is applied to a quartz crystal, a voltage will appear across it, which means it can convert mechanical forces into electrical signals. As Generalist/Blogger/Researcher, This reminds me of the cassimir effect a little. its at least similar. where the energy output arriving from compression of a sounrounding density that makes the output stonger than expected from a needed phsical effort to make a difference. comapring to material in its usual static form. made it useful in things such as microphones and phonograph needles in earlier days, though now there are better materials for these applications - and, of course, few people still listen to records.
Alternatively, if you put voltage across a quartz crystal, it will change shape a little. In other words, it can convert electrical signals into mechanical forces. The effect is small, but is useful, especially in making quartz oscillators.
The idea is that you can think of a bit of quartz as a sort of tuning fork that vibrates when struck. That vibration will eventually die out, but if you take the voltage the quartz crystal makes and amplify it (this will cost you some energy from a battery, say), you can then take that voltage and feed it back to the crystal to change its shape at the right moments to keep it vibrating indefinitely. Such an oscillator can be very stable and is the basis for all sorts of electronic devices that require precise standards of timing.
Quartz also finds applications in optics because of its high strength and melting point, compared with glass, and its transparency to a much wider range of ultraviolet light.
Ask Dr. Knowledge is written by Northeastern University physicist John Swain. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Dr. Knowledge, c/o The Boston Globe, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819.