What Is a Transducer?

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Transducers are used to convert incoming energy into some kind of an electrical signal. Learn about current examples of transducers, such as photo diodes, with help from a science teacher in this free video on physical science.

Part of the Video Series: Physical & Life Science
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to tell you what a transducer is. First of all, transducers there's many kinds and they convert basically a kind of energy or some kind of incoming energy into some kind of electrical signal. Now the energy might be something like a movement or sound or light, those are the kinds of energies we're talking about. Obviously the most common ones which are used nowadays are the light sensitive components like photo diodes, photocells. These directly convert the incident light into an electrical signal which can be used to well for example detect how bright light is. You'll have one of these in your camera of course to detect how bright it is so that the camera's automatically set. You also have sound sensing devices, these sound devices are often used again in for example an automatic camera, an automatic recorder so that as the sound gets louder, it reduces the amplification so that it doesn't make the sound particularly difficult to listen to. Movement sensors obviously with many experiments in laboratories we like to detect movement and movement can be detected either physically by using a sensor and physically measuring the distance, it could be a distance sensor or it could be something sensing that there is a movement and give you a signal accordingly. For example we have a lot of movement sensors now which are installed in houses or in factories to see if somebody is there and you will experience these particularly when you go around houses and so forth and on come the lights, it's a movement sensor. Piezo crystals are devices which sense pressure and these are very useful, the pressure sensitivity devices which can be used to detect changes of shape in building for example. So basically that is what transducers are.


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