Position and Function: The slider is positioned at the end of a thin metal arm, which moves radially across the surface of the rotating magnetic platters of the hard disk. The slider houses the reading and writing elements.

Aerodynamic Design: The slider is designed with aerodynamics in mind, allowing it to hover just above the disk surface thanks to an air cushion created by the disk's rapid rotation. This proximity (in the order of nanometers) is key to accurate data reading and writing.

Magnetic Reading and Writing: The slider is equipped with small inductive coils or magnetoresistive elements that detect changes in magnetic orientation on the disk surface when reading data. For writing data, the slider uses a small magnetic field to change the orientation of magnetic particles on the disk, thereby representing binary data (0 and 1).

Materials and Technology: The production of sliders requires advanced materials and technologies. They are often made of hard, durable materials like sapphire or special alloys, and utilize nanoscale technologies for the placement of reading/writing elements.