TAHESHI TAKAHARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TAHESHI TAKAHARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Laser segment of a compact disc mastering machine. The CD master is made from a metal disc coated with a photo-resist plastic. The disc is spun under this machine, and a laser is used to project a sequence of pulses onto the surface. These areas are then hardened, the remainder being etched away chemically. The master disc is then taken to be pressed, the ridges created by the laser being reproduced as pits in this first pressing. A production master is taken from the first pressing, and is used to produce thousands of duplicate copies. The pattern of pits holds the encoded digital information required to reproduce the original sound recording.
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