• Device for sensing light by detecting an electric current released when it strikes a suitable surface. Widely used in astronomical equipment.


  • Abbreviation of photoelectric cell. A device whose electrical characteristics, such as voltage, current, resistance, or capacitance, vary with incident light. Such incident light may be infrared, visible, or ultraviolet, and the variations in the electrical quantities will depend on the frequency of the light, and the specific photosensitive substance being used. Such devices generally incorporate a light-sensitive semiconductor material, and are usually utilized as a transducer which converts light energy into electrical energy. When employed as a detector, such as that used in automatic door openers or intrusion alarms, also called electric eye. Its abbreviation is PC. Also spelled photo-cell.
  • acronymPC
  • synonymphotoelectric cell