PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Compact disc manufacture. A researcher checks the position of a compact disc master, which is about to be 'written' upon by a laser. The laser is switched on and off at incredible speed to create hardened spots in a thin photo-resist plastic layer on the disc. Once the 'writing' is complete, the unhardened photo-resist remaining is etched off. A printing master is made by making a duplicate of the laser master, but in metal. On the final CD, the data are encoded as a pattern of 'pits', and are read by laser. Photographed at the Philips research laboratory in The Netherlands.
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