What are pixels?

Ahh, now it’s all so clear

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What are pixels?

‘Pixel’ is short for Picture Element. When we see graphic images on digital devices the display divides the screen into thousands or millions of pixels, arranged in rows and columns. Each pixel has its own address in this grid and is represented by dots or squares. Pixels build up a sample of an original image and are the smallest component of a digital image. The more pixels used to represent an image, the closer it will resemble the original.

The number of pixels used to create an image is often referred to as the ‘resolution’. The best digital cameras have the highest pixel count because they produce a higher-quality image. In colour images a pixel is typically comprised of three of four colour dots – a red, a blue and a green. When these colour dots converge, they build coloured pixels. You might have spent most of your youth playing Mario games with 256 x 224 pixels – now a typical HD monitor can display 1,366 x 768 pixels.

Damien Arness-Dalton, Science Museum

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  • Tony

    Playstation Network been down is not only a pain, potential loss of data a concern, but my son and I have purchased several games lately and in the past the rely on the Network, loss of game time, loss of money as these games have since reduced in price. So what are they going to do about that?

  • unmannedair

    It has nothing to do with heat. It is called particle Jamming and it can be observed in a lot of things. Even on a macroscopic level. Particle Jamming is basically like a bag of foam balls. it is very squishy. But if you suck the air out of the bag the balls get rigidly locked into place by the force from the atmosphere pushing on the bag. Particle Jamming is what makes sand pile up into a cone when you pour it instead of flowing into a flat pancake. If you’re going to ‘explain’ something, then at least do your readers the courtesy of getting it right. To understand more about shear thickening fluids, lookup either ‘non-newtonian fluids’, ‘dilatant fluids’, OR ‘jamming physics’. You can make your own dilatant fluid by mixing cornstarch with water.