Kerr cell

\ ˈkär-, ˈkər- \

Definition of Kerr cell

: a cell that contains electrodes immersed in nitrobenzene or other liquid, that exhibits double refraction in a high degree and with short time lag, and that is used in devices where the intensity of light is to be changed rapidly in accordance with the voltage applied to the electrodes (as in the recording of sound tracks for motion pictures) — compare kerr effect

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Kerr cell

after John Kerr †1907 Scottish physicist

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Kerr cell

Statistics for Kerr cell

Cite this Entry

“Kerr cell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Comments on Kerr cell

What made you want to look up Kerr cell? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!