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Photocell

Photocell

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Description
Joel Stebbins (1878-1966) was an astronomer who, while teaching at the University of Illinois, was led by his colleague, Jakob Kunz, to use a photocell to chart the fluctuating magnitudes of eclipsing binary stars. The experiment was indeed a success. In the words of Gerald Kron, an astronomer who would later work with Stebbins—and who gave this example to the Smithsonian—Stebbins "furnished the continuity that lead to the permanent establishment of photoelectric photometry as one of the most important tools of modern astronomers."
This example is a Western Electric D-97087 photocell that Stebbins used for six color photometry in the 1940s.
Ref: Gerald Kron, "Joel Stebbins 1878-1966," Publications of Astronomical Society of the Pacific 78 (1966) 62-65.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
photocell
date made
1940s
maker
General Electric Company
Measurements
overall: 4 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 12.065 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
PH.328775
accession number
1988.0554
catalog number
328775
subject
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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