MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: What is the difference between a transducer and a sensor?

Date: Tue Nov 24 16:16:50 1998
Posted By: Gus Calabrese aka puppet boy, Design Engineer
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 911830461.Eg

I have heard sensor and transducer used inter-changeably by many engineers.  
I suppose that a sensor measures a value such as pressure or temperature 
while a transducer converts energy from one form to another such as sound 
waves to electrical or sunlight to electricity.
Some devices can be both such as a microphone.  Some are not both such as a 
photo-resistor which changes resistance as a function of impinging light.  
No energy conversion.

In any case, due to the sloppy useage of the terms, one might always take 
care to further explain their intentions.  Sloppiness is probably the 
explanation for these two terms being ambiguous.


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