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The thermal response of a magnetoresistive head is analyzed for frictional heating between the head surface and dust particles or other asperities on the recording medium surface during relative motion of head and medium. A theoretical model is presented showing that pulses are induced in the output of a magnetoresistive head as a result of this frictional heating. The model predicts the dependence of these noise spikes on the thermal properties of the substrate and cover chip for the magnetoresistive head, the dimensions of the magnetoresistive stripe, the head-medium relative velocity, and the rate of frictional heat generation. Experimental verification of the theoretical model is obtained by scanning a focused laser beam across a head.
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