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What is Ferroelectricity?

  1. Apr 8, 2014 #1
    In the word "Ferroelectricity", why has the word "ferro" been used when it has nothing to do with ferrous or iron?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2014 #2
    Ferroelectricity is a property of certain materials that have a spontaneous electric polarization that can be reversed by the application of an external electric field.[1][2] The term is used in analogy to ferromagnetism, in which a material exhibits a permanent magnetic moment. Ferromagnetism was already known when ferroelectricity was discovered in 1920 in Rochelle salt by Valasek.[3] Thus, the prefix ferro, meaning iron, was used to describe the property despite the fact that most ferroelectric materials do not contain iron.
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