A transducer is defined as a technological device capable of switching (transforming, transducing) the nature of the physical quantity detected (object of measurement) by the sensor into a signal that is more easily intelligible and processed by the subsequent stages of the measurement chain. In other words, a transducer is able to provide an output, correlated with an entity that can be a physical quantity, a property or a particular condition, such that it is compatible with the measuring instrument or the measuring chain that must process the signal (the output). It is called a transducer, precisely because it detects a signal of a certain type and outputs one of another type.

Note that “sensors” and “actuators” are, in a more general sense “transducers,” but common usage restricts the meaning of the term.

The transducers, therefore, differ by definition from the sensors which are normally technological devices capable of “feeling” or are sensitive to detect the physical quantity in question and transmit a signal (output) to the measuring instrument. Transducers are connected with electrical systems to provide electrical signals indicative of the state of the perceived phenomenon. They, therefore, allow to measure and control, by means of electronic equipment, the variations undergone by physical quantities of different nature such as, for example, speed, temperature, pressure… etcetera.

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