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of or concerned with electric or electronic effects caused by light or other electromagnetic radiation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Pertaining to the electrical effects of light, such as the emission of electrons, generation of voltage, or a change in resistance when exposed to light.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
photoelectricConverting photons into electrons. When light is beamed onto a metal, electrons are released from its atoms. The higher the light frequency, the more electron energy released. Photonic sensors of all kinds work on this principle. They sense light and cause an electric current to flow.
Although most people think Einstein won the Nobel Prize because of his Theory of Relativity, it was actually due to his discovery of the photoelectric effect. He theorized that light was made of particles (later called photons) and that it carried an amount of energy exactly proportional to its frequency. See phototransistor and photovoltaic.
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