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|photoelectric cell |
An electronic device having an electrical output that varies in response to the strength of incident electromagnetic radiation, especially visible light. Photoelectric cells make use of the photoelectric effect, in which electrons are displaced by photons in substances such as silicon or selenium to generate a voltage in response to radiation. Photoelectric cells are used to detect light electronically in cameras and night vision apparatus and to generate electrical power in solar cells. Also called photovoltaic cell. See also solar cell.