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An examination of the natural mineral and its ability to add precision timing to electronic circuits. John Watson from the Open University's Earth Sciences department, talks with Philip Ashby about... natural quartz, known as rock crystal to the ancient Greeks and its occurrence in the world. The programme then visits C-MAC crystals, of Harlow, England, a company that turns natural rock quartz into precision electronic components. Company director David Brown speaks about the mix of physical and electronic properties in quartz, and in a radio tour of the factory John Dowsett, the technical director, takes us through the processing stages. These include melting and re-crystallising, the use of X-rays to determine the atomic planes for subsequent machining and the mounting of the shaped crystal wafers. Paul Ekpenyong and Anne Harrison talk in brief interviews about the wider market and day to day problems of running a company requiring such varied skills amongst the workforce.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Series: Technology Faculty Radio; Series T006
Episode 5
First transmission date: 1996-09-15
Original broadcast channel: Radio 4 LW
Published: 1996
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OUDA web pages.
Duration: 00:28:54
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Producer: Philip Ashby
Contributors: John Dowsett; Paul Ekpenyong; Anne Harrison; John Watson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): C-MAC crystals; Digital watch; Pulsar; Rock crystal
Master spool number: 95YT0369
Production number: 95YT0369
Available to public: no