Sensor Measurement Fundamentals

Sensors or transducers convert physical phenomenon such as vibration, temperature, or pressure into measurable electrical signals. Explore the measurement tutorials below to learn how common sensors work and what to consider when selecting a sensor for your application.

Measuring Temperature With Thermocouples, RTDs, or Thermistors

Thermocouples are passive sensors that produce small changes in voltage with temperature. Resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermistors are active sensors whose resistance changes with temperature. Learn more about the differences between thermocouples, RTDs, and thermistors and what environments they are best suited.

View the complete guide on thermocouples, thermistors, and RTDs

Measuring Strain With Strain Gauges

Strain gauges are used to measure the deformation of a material due to an applied force. The resistance of a strain gauge changes with small bends and pulls on the material. Explore basic strain concepts, how strain gauges work, and how to select the right configuration type.

View the complete guide on strain gauges

Measuring Vibration With Accelerometers

Accelerometers are commonly used to measure vibration. They contain piezoelectric crystals that generate an electric charge proportional to force from oscillations of a solid. Learn about the theory of vibration, how accelerometers function, and considerations for choosing the right accelerometer.

View the complete guide on accelerometers

Measuring Pressure, Load, and Torque With Bridge-Based Sensors

Pressure, load, and torque sensors measure force in different ways. Load cells measure force or weight. Pressure sensors measure force per unit area. Torque sensors measure the tendency of force to rotate an object. See how full bridge strain sensors are used to measure pressure, load, and torque.

View the complete guide on pressure sensors

View the complete guide on load and force sensors

Measuring Sound With Microphones

Sound waves are created by pressure variations in the air. Microphones transform sound pressure into capacitive variations, which are then converted to an electrical voltage. Review the fundamentals of sound pressure, how microphones work, and how to choose the right type of microphone.

View the complete guide on microphones

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