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The interaction of laser and photoconductor in an optical heterodyne conversion scheme is studied in detail. A dc biased photoconductor excited by two continuous-wave (CW) laser beams with a difference in their central frequencies falling in the terahertz spectrum is considered as the core element in all photoconductive photomixing structures. For this configuration the continuity equations for the electron and hole densities are solved in their general form along with the appropriate boundary conditions to find photocurrent distribution inside the photoconductor. It is shown that in a CW terahertz photomixing scheme the resulting photocurrent contains a dc component and a terahertz component. It is also shown that the amplitude and the phase of the terahertz component of the photocurrent are functions of the applied bias, physical parameters of the photoconductor, parameters of the lasers, and photomixer configuration. The dependency of the photocurrent on all of these parameters is explored in detail for a typical photomixer made of low-temperature-grown GaAs photoconductor.