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I have a question about data storage in the hard drives of computers. I was rreading an article that said that at a certain small grain size, the magnetic grains of a hardrive will spontaneously loose their charge I was wondering whether or not this affect would happen if the hardrive was contained in a vacuum. If it is possible to create such a small vacuum, then could it be possible to use this idea to create a new, extremely high capacity, hard drive using a vacuum?
Question Date: 2001-06-06
Answer 1:

The problem of spontaneous field inversion in small magnetic grains is a collective ferromagnetic property of the material -- it would still occur in a vacuum. However, vacuum could not work in current hard drives in any case, as the head is suspended above the drive platter largely by the fluid forces of the air or other gas in the
drive casing. Without this support, the head would impact the disk (as it does when stopped in Winchester designs). Magnetic disk drives are a fascinating subject -- 25 years ago, everyone thought that they'd be replaced by magnetic bubbles in a couple of years.
It didn't happen...
IBM has some of the best disk technology in the world -- their web site is: http://www.almaden.ibm.com/sst/

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