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charge-coupled device

charge-coupled device (CCD) Type of silicon chip designed to capture images. The CCD is divided into a number of microscopic areas (pixels), arranged in rows. When a photon hits a pixel, it knocks off an electron from a silicon atom, which becomes charged. An opposite charge in a layer on the base of the CCD confines this charged silicon atom, and in this way a charge builds up in each pixel relative to the number of photons hitting it 50 times a second. The contents of each pixel are read off, a row at a time, forming an electrical signal that can be used to create television pictures. CCDs are found in video cameras, fax machines, and digital cameras.

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charge-coupled device

charge-coupled device (CCD) A light-sensitive semiconductor used to enhance images obtained from faint objects. It accumulates and temporarily stores charge at particular pixel locations when struck by photons. The pixels can then be moved, allowing them to be pieced together to form an image.

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charge-coupled device

charge-coupled device See CCD.

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