Physics inside- Technology and Career Experience with Hard Drives
This event is part of the Physics Department Colloquia Series.
The technology inside every hard drive is amazing. Features shipping today include magnetic tunnel junctions to read data, thermal expansion actuators to precisely adjust head-disk spacing to ~1nm, and data tracks only 70nm wide. Next steps include laser heating of the disk surface to facilitate the writing process. An army of physicists, engineers, and materials scientists are responsible for a continuing stream of innovations that have made hard drives the essential enabler for data storage in “the cloud”. Hard disk drive companies are just one of the numerous industries where physicists make essential contributions. This talk will use aspects of my 27 year career in magnetic recording to illustrate what it’s like for a physicist to work in industry. Employment statistics, salary trends, and career opportunities for those who earn physics degrees will also be discussed.