Definition: Techniques or processes designed to increase the effective speed of light-sensitive materials between its manufacture and before exposure by e.g. heat treatment, exposure to mercury vapour or dilute solution of various chemicals, exposure to weak uniform light.
Hot stuff for astronomy
Astronomy makes extreme demands on film, what with exposures that run into countable photons (individual particles of light). In desperation, astronomers have been known to resort to any measure to hypersensitise their film, going as far as putting it into their ovens for lengths of time. Which gives another meaning to the phrase 'roasting film'. These days, of course, you just get a refrigerated CCD chip to open wide and swallow all the photons it can.

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