Albert Fert of
France and Peter Gruenberg of Germany have won the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics
for their work in developing the technology that has led to miniaturised hard
disks for computers and music players that led to the iPod revolution.The two
were honoured for their independent discovery of giant magnetoresistance (GMR)
technology in 1988 and their joint work to develop it.
is thanks to this technology that it has been possible to miniaturised hard disks
so radically in recent years,'''' the Stockholm-based Nobel Foundation said in a
statement on its website.
two will share a prize of 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million).
GMR technology involves very weak changes in magnetic force that enables computers
to read vast amounts of information from smaller surfaces. First introduced in
1997, the technology has become standard hard drive outfit for personal computers
and initial models of Apple''s iPod music players.
born in 1938 in Carcassonne, France, is a professor at the Universite Paris-Sud
in Orsay and the scientific director of Unite Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales. He
received his Ph.D. in 1970 from Paris Sud and has been working on condensed-matter
physics since 1995.
of his 270 publications is among the top 10 most read Physical Review Letters
since its inception in 1953, according to the Centre National de la Recherche
born a year after in Pilsen in Czechoslovakia (the Czech Republic), is a professor
with the Institut fuer Festkoerperforschung in Juelich, Germany. Gruenberg received
his Ph.D. from the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt in 1969.
and Gruenberg''s technology has dramatically increased the storage density of hard
drives, making it possible, for example, to watch a movie on an iPod. The novelty
of the technique is that it uses the spin of an electron, rather than its charge,
as a variable, which has launched a new field of physics, known as spin electronics.
is considered to be the first application of nanotechnology, which involves making
devices on a molecular level, the Nobel foundation said.
year''s Nobel in physics went to Americans George Smoot, a California professor,
and John Mather, a government scientist, for their work in astrophysics to explore
the origins of the universe. Their work effectively silenced critics who said
the Big Bang theory lacked any physical proof.
US scientists Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies and the UK''s Martin Evans won
the Nobel Prize for medicine for their work on embryonic stem-cell research. The
Nobel Prize in chemistry will be announced tomorrow, with the prize for literature
following the day after. The Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be unveiled on
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