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The measurement of the intensity of electromagnetic radiation. An instrument that measures this quantity is called an actinometer. Recent actinometers use the photoelectric effect but earlier instruments depended either on the fluorescence produced by the radiation on a screen or on the amount of chemical change induced in some suitable substance. Different types of actinometer have different names according to the type of radiation they measure. A pyroheliometer measures the intensity of radiation from the sun. A pyranometer measures the intensity of radiation that reaches the surface of the earth after being scattered by molecules or objects suspended in the atmosphere. A pyrogeometer measures the difference between the outgoing infrared radiation from the earth and the incoming radiation from the sun that penetrates the earth's atmosphere.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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