POWER AND SYRED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY POWER AND SYRED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Compact disc surface. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of an audio compact disc (CD). The CD is made of aluminium with a transparent plastic coating. The metal disc underneath is etched by a laser beam producing the microscopic pits (coloured blue) which carry a digital code representing the sounds. The musical signal is capable of being read by a laser which is reflected at the etched surface. The thick layer of transparent plastic covering the reflective surface prevents dust and scratches from affecting the sound quality. A standard audio CD can store about 80 minutes of music. Magnification: x3,100 at 6x7cm size.
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