Analogue Recorders - Transfer characteristic of a magnetic ribbon

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Before they get magnetized, magnetic particles are immobile and require a certain amount of initial energy to overcome inertia (they really don't want to be bothered...). Once put into motion, however, they pretty much follow faithfully the magnetizing signal up to saturation point. The following diagram shows a typical transferring characteristic of a magnetic ribbon and how it behaves when a magnetic field is applied to it.

Analogue recorders - Transfer characteristic of a magnetic ribbon

Transfer characteristic of a magnetic ribbon

The graph shows the applied magnetic field on the X-axis, and the remnance (the quantity of magnetizing that has been transferred to the ribbon) on the Y-axis. This graph's shape varies depending on frequency, however, its behaviour generally remains the same as the one shown in the diagram. When we apply a weak magnetic field, we are within the non-linear zone. This means that until the magnetic field remains low, it can't polarize the particles, which therefore remain immobile due to the inertial force. If we increase the magnetic field applied to the tape, we'd shift to the linear zone, in which increases and decreases in applied magnetic field correspond proportionally to remnance changes. If we further increase the magnetic field we enter the saturation zone, where all the particles on the tape have been polarized, and therefore remnance remains constant. Obviously the same phenomenon takes place oppositely with a negative magnetic field (indeed sound is made up of both compressions and rarefactions).


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