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Thermistos are thermally sensitive resistors whose prime function is to exhibit a large,
predictable and precise change in electrical resistance when subjected to a corresponding change
in body temperature. Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistors exhibit a decrease in
electrical resistance when subjected to an increase in body temperature and Positive Temperature
Coefficient (PTC) thermistors exhibit an increase in electrical resistance when subjected to an
increase in body temperature. U.S. Sensor produces thermistors capable of operating over the
temperature range of -100 to over +600 Fahrenheit. Because of their very predictable
characteristics and their excellent long term stability, thermistors are generally accepted to be the
most advantageous sensor for many applications including temperature measurement and
Since the negative temperature coefficient of silver sulphide was first observed by Michael
Faraday in 1833, there has been a continual improvement in thermistor technology. The most
important characteristic of a thermistor is, without question, its extremely high temperature
coefficient of resistance. Modern thermistor technology results in the production of devices with
extremely precise resistance versus temperature characteristics, making them the most
advantageous sensor for a wide variety of applications.
A thermistor's change in electrical resistance due to a corresponding temperature change is
evident whether the thermistor's body temperature is changed as a result of conduction or
radiation from the surrounding environment or due to "self heating" brought about by power
dissipation within the device.
When a thermistor is used in a circuit where the power dissipated within the device is not
sufficient to cause "self heating", the thermistor's body temperature will follow that of the
environment. Thermistors are not "self heated" for use in applications such as temperature
measurement, temperature control or temperature compensation.
When a thermistor is used in a circuit where the power dissipated within the device is sufficient
to cause "self heating", the thermistor's body temperature will be dependent upon the thermal
conductivity of its environment as well as its temperature. Thermistors are "self heated" for use
in application such as liquid level detection, air flow detection and thermal conductivity

2-Strain gage
If a strip of conductive metal is stretched, it will become skinnier and longer, both changes
resulting in an increase of electrical resistance end-to-end. Conversely, if a strip of conductive
metal is placed under compressive force (without buckling), it will broaden and shorten. If these
stresses are kept within the elastic limit of the metal strip (so that the strip does not permanently
deform), the strip can be used as a measuring element for physical force, the amount of applied
force inferred from measuring its resistance.
Such a device is called a strain gauge. Strain gauges are frequently used in mechanical
engineering research and development to measure the stresses generated by machinery. Aircraft
component testing is one area of application, tiny strain-gauge strips glued to structural

members, linkages, and any other critical component of an airframe to measure stress. Most
strain gauges are smaller than a postage stamp, and they look something like this:

A strain gauges conductors are very thin: if made of round wire, about 1/1000 inch in diameter.
Alternatively, strain gauge conductors may be thin strips of metallic film deposited on a
nonconducting substrate material called the carrier. The latter form of strain gauge is represented
in the previous illustration. The name bonded gauge is given to strain gauges that are glued to
a larger structure under stress (called the test specimen). The task of bonding strain gauges to test
specimens may appear to be very simple, but it is not. Gauging is a craft in its own right,
absolutely essential for obtaining accurate, stable strain measurements. It is also possible to use
an unmounted gauge wire stretched between two mechanical points to measure tension, but this
technique has its limitations.
Typical strain gauge resistances range from 30 to 3 k (unstressed). This resistance may
change only a fraction of a percent for the full force range of the gauge, given the limitations
imposed by the elastic limits of the gauge material and of the test specimen. Forces great enough
to induce greater resistance changes would permanently deform the test specimen and/or the
gauge conductors themselves, thus ruining the gauge as a measurement device. Thus, in order to
use the strain gauge as a practical instrument, we must measure extremely small changes in
resistance with high accuracy.
Such demanding precision calls for a bridge measurement circuit. Unlike the Wheatstone bridge
shown in the last chapter using a null-balance detector and a human operator to maintain a state
of balance, a strain gauge bridge circuit indicates measured strain by the degree of imbalance,
and uses a precision voltmeter in the center of the bridge to provide an accurate measurement of
that imbalance:

3-photoelectric cell
photoelectric cell or photocell, device whose electrical characteristics (e.g., current,
voltage, or resistance) vary when light is incident upon it. The most common type
consists of two electrodes separated by a light-sensitive semiconductor material. A
battery or other voltage source connected to the electrodes sets up a current even

in the absence of light; when light strikes the semiconductor section of the
photocell, the current in the circuit increases by an amount proportional to the
intensity of the light. In the phototube, an older type of photocell, two electrodes
are enclosed in a glass tubean anode and a light-sensitive cathode, i.e., a metal
that emits electrons in accordance with the photoelectric effect Although the
phototube itself is now obsolete, the principle survives in the photomultiplier tube,
which can be used to detect and amplify faint amounts of light. In this tube,
electrons ejected from a photosensitive cathode by light are attracted toward and
strike a positive electrode, liberating showers of secondary electrons; these are
drawn to a more positive electrode, producing yet more secondary electronsand
so on, through several stages, until a large pulse of current is produced. Besides its
use in measuring light intensity, a photomultiplier can be built into a television
camera tube, making it sensitive enough to pick up the visual image of a star too
faint to be seen by the human eye. The photovoltaic type of photoelectric cell, when
exposed to light, can generate and support an electric current without being
attached to any external voltage source. Such a cell usually consists of a
semiconductor crystal with two zones composed of dissimilar materials. When light
shines on the crystal, a voltage is set up across the junction between the two zones.
A phototransistor, which is a type of photovoltaic cell, can generate a small current
that acts like the input current in a conventional transistor and controls a larger
current in the output circuit. Photovoltaic cells are also used to make solar batteries
(see solar cell ). Since the current from a photocell can easily be used to operate
switches or relays, it is often used in light-actuated counters, automatic door
openers, and intrusion alarms. Photocells in such devices are popularly known as
electric eyes.