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Photonics Dictionary

photomultiplier tube (PMT)

A tube consisting of an evacuated envelope with a photocathode that emits electrons when exposed to light. These electrons are accelerated by a positive electrostatic field and fall upon a metal surface where they emit secondary electrons that are again accelerated to generate more electrons at the next metal surface, and so on. The whole arrangement thus acts as a combination of a simple photocell with a high-gain amplifier in a self-contained unit.
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