AskDefine | Define photocell

Dictionary Definition

photocell n : a transducer used to detect and measure light and other radiations [syn: photoelectric cell, photoconductive cell, electric eye, magic eye]

User Contributed Dictionary


Extensive Definition

Photosensors or photodetectors are sensors of light or other electromagnetic energy. There are several varieties:
  • Optical detectors, which are mostly quantum devices in which an individual photon produces a discrete effect.
  • Cryogenic detectors are sufficiently sensitive to measure the energy of single x-ray, visible and near infra-red photons.
  • Charge-coupled devices (CCD), which are used to record images in astronomy, digital photography, and digital cinematography. Although before the 1990s photographic plates were the most common in astronomy. Glass-backed plates were used rather than film, because they do not shrink or deform in going between wet and dry condition, or under other disturbances. Unfortunately, Kodak discontinued producing several kinds of plates between 1980 and 2000, terminating the production of important sky surveysT. M. Girard et al, (May 2004) Astronomical Journal, 127, 3060.. The next generation of astronomical instruments, such as the Astro-E2, include cryogenic detectors. In experimental particle physics, a particle detector is a device used to track and identify elementary particles.

See also


photocell in Czech: Detektor záření
photocell in German: Lichtsensor
photocell in Spanish: Fotocelda
photocell in Indonesian: Sensor cahaya
photocell in Italian: Sensore di immagini
photocell in Latvian: Fotoelements
photocell in Lithuanian: Fotoelementas
photocell in Japanese: 光検出器
photocell in Russian: Фотосенсор
photocell in Slovak: Fotodetektor
photocell in Slovenian: Detektor svetlobe
photocell in Swedish: Fotodetektor
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