Can somebody explain what a discriminator is?

  • Thread starter johng23
  • Start date
  • #1
292
1
I work in a laser lab and I'm constantly hearing about electronic components that I don't understand (my background is materials science). This is one example. Could someone either explain or point me to an introductory level reference on what a discriminator is in the context of light detection?

More generally, any advice on a good reference for getting up to speed on basic electronics/circuits concepts quickly would be appreciated. I don't need to understand all the details for the research I do, but right now I feel like I'm in the dark.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
8
0
A discriminator is an electronic circuit that has an output voltage only when the amplitude of the input pulses exceeds a predetermined value. In the context of light detection, I'd say that if they are using a photodiode as well, they could be attempting to activate a circuit element if the light they are detecting is above a certain threshold.
 
  • #3
sophiecentaur
Science Advisor
Gold Member
25,162
4,800
That is a rather specialised definition, I think. I would rather describe 'your' circuit as a Comparator.

The word Discriminator is also used for a circuit which determines the frequency or pulse rate and delivers a voltage - hence the FM discriminator in your FM radio.

We'd need to know the context of the 'discriminator' in question, I think.
 

Related Threads on Can somebody explain what a discriminator is?

Replies
7
Views
576
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
786
Replies
6
Views
4K
Replies
18
Views
2K
Replies
80
Views
3K
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
Top