A sensor is a device of a measuring system that detects and is directly affected by a phenomenon, body, or substance carrying a physical quantity to be measured.

The specific input could be light, sound, heat, motion, moisture, magnetism, pressure, or any one of a great number of other environmental phenomena. The output is generally a signal that is converted to human-readable display at the sensor location or transmitted electronically over a network for reading or further processing.

In some fields, the term “detector” is used for this concept.

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