What is sensor?

  • (noun): Any device that receives a signal or stimulus (as heat or pressure or light or motion etc.) and responds to it in a distinctive manner.
    Synonyms: detector, sensing element


A sensor (also called detector) is a converter that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an (today mostly electronic) instrument. For example, a mercury-in-glass thermometer converts the measured temperature into expansion and contraction of a liquid which can be read on a calibrated glass tube. A thermocouple converts temperature to an output voltage which can be read by a voltmeter. For accuracy, most sensors are calibrated against known standards.

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Some articles on sensor:

AFR Sensor
... The AFR sensor is an air-fuel ratio sensor that is slowly replacing the Zirconium oxygen sensor (O2 sensor) in modern motor vehicles ...
String Potentiometer - Components
... a measuring cable, spool, spring, and rotational sensor ... The spool is coupled to the shaft of a rotational sensor (a potentiometer or rotary encoder) ... with the movable object, it causes the spool and sensor shafts to rotate ...
Sensor Node
... A sensor node, also known as a mote (chiefly in North America), is a node in a wireless sensor network that is capable of performing some processing, gathering sensory information and ...
Sensor Node - Components - Controller
... processes data and controls the functionality of other components in the sensor node ... is often used in many embedded systems such as sensor nodes because of its low cost, flexibility to connect to other devices, ease of programming, and low power consumption ... therefore it is often not considered a suitable choice for a sensor node ...
Sensor - Biosensor
... In biomedicine and biotechnology, sensors which detect analytes thanks to a biological component, such as cells, protein, nucleic acid or biomimetic ... Whereas a non-biological sensor, even organic (=carbon chemistry), for biological analytes is referred to as sensor or nanosensor (such a microcantilevers) ... presents with a slightly different problem that ordinary sensors, this can either be done by means of a semipermeable barrier, such as a dialysis membrane or a hydrogel, a 3D polymer matrix, which either ...