PIR sensors are commonly called simply "PIR", or sometimes "PID", for "passive infrared detector". The term passive refers to the fact that PIR devices do not radiate energy for detection purposes. They work entirely by detecting infrared radiation (radiant heat) emitted by or reflected from objects.
A passive infrared sensor (PIR sensor) is an electronic sensor that measures infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view. They are most often used in PIR-based motion sensors are commonly used in security alarms and automatic lighting applications. PIR sensors detect general movement, but do not give information on who or what moved.