What is dark noise?


Biologists whose physics is a little rusty.


A quick review of dark noise

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Learn more about noise and CMOS technology, read Changing the Game.

Dark noise is statistical variation in the number of electrons thermally generated within the pixel in a photon-independent fashion, and is the electron equivalent of photon shot noise. Dark noise is calculated from the dark current:

\[ Dark\ noise=\sqrt{\mathstrut (dark\ curent)(integration\ time)} \]

Dark current, and therefore dark noise, are temperature dependent, with less noise at lower temperatures. For most biological experiments, dark current and dark noise are negligible over a typical exposure interval of less than five minutes.


Because dark noise is typically negligible, the main noise component coming from the camera that needs to be considered is read noise.

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