Collins, Dean R. CCD Technology Laboratory, Central Research Laboratories, Texas Instruments, Inc., Dallas.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Image-intensifier tubes
- Solid-state image intensifiers
- Related Primary Literature
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In the broadest sense, a device which produces an enhanced light output when actuated by incident light. A simple photocell relay–light source combination would satisfy this definition. To make the term more meaningful, common usage has introduced two restrictions: (1) a light amplifier must be a device which, when actuated by a light image, reproduces a similar image of enhanced brightness; and (2) the device must be capable of operating at very low light levels without introducing spurious brightness variations (noise) into the reproduced image. The term is used synonymously with image intensifier. The light amplifier increases the brightness of an image which is below the visual threshold to a level where it can be readily seen with the unaided eye. It is, of course, impossible to see under conditions of complete darkness. Indeed, there is a fundamental lower limit of illumination under which an image of a given quality can be recognized. This limitation arises because of the corpuscular nature of light. See also: Photon
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