From Glossary of Meteorology
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Also called actinic balance.) An instrument that measures the intensity of radiant energy by employing a thermally sensitive electrical resistor; a type of actinometer.

In meteorological applications, two identical, blackened, thermally sensitive electrical resistors are used in a Wheatstone bridge circuit. Radiation is allowed to fall on one of the elements, causing a change in its resistance. The change is a measure of the intensity of the radiation.