Sensor facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
CCD Image sensor
A CCD (charge-coupled device) has a grid of sensors that react to light.
Cathode ray diffraction
A television tube or other CRT (cathode ray tube) detects electrons on its screen.

A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a 'signal' which can be read by an observer or by an instrument. For example, a mercury thermometer converts the measured temperature into the expansion and contraction of a liquid which can be read on a calibrated glass tube. Video cameras and a digital cameras have an image sensor.

There are a lot of different types of sensors. Sensors are used in everyday objects.

Thermal sensors

A sensor that detects temperature. Thermal sensors are in many laptops and computers in order to sound an alarm when a certain temperature has been exceeded.

Electromagnetic sensors

An electronic device used to measure a physical quantity such as pressure or loudness and convert it into an electronic signal of some kind (e.g. a voltage).

This is any thing that can be used to find things like photons, electrons, etc. It can be as simple as a white wall, a sheet of white paper, etc., or as new as a charge-coupled device. When a laser is aimed at a detection screen, a bright spot will show up on the wall or will be picked up on the CCD and can be viewed on an attached TV screen or something like that. When an electron hits the screen it make a phosphor glow there.

Mechanical sensors

  • Pressure sensors: barometer
  • Vibration and shock sensors

Motion sensors

A motion sensor detects physical movement in a given area.

Car sensors

  • reversing sensor
  • rain sensor

Images for kids


Sensor Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.