(plural read/write heads)
- A combination read head and write head
A device that reads (senses) and writes (records) data on a magnetic disk or tape. For writing, the surface of the disk or tape is moved past the read/write head. By discharging electrical impulses at the appropriate times, bits are recorded as tiny, magnetized spots of positive or negative polarity. For reading, the surface is moved past the read/write head, and the bits that are present induce an electrical current across the gap.