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2007 Nobel prize in physics goes to condensed matter October 9, 2007

Posted by apetrov in Physics, Science.

This morning the 2007 Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Albert Fert and Peter Grunberg “for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance.” Fert was the first to correctly explain the effect and Grunberg holds a patent for its practical applications. GMR (i.e. large change in resistance in the multilayered structures upon changing magnetic field — i.e. upon changing the direction of electron spins in the structure) is a very useful thing that allowed increasing density of information stored on computer hard drives and layed foundation for spintronics. So this year the prize is awarded in accord with Nobel’s will that the interst from his account that is supposed to be “…annually distributed in the form of  prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have  conferred the greatest benefit on mankind…” except for the “preceeding year” part.

Interestingly, Thompson Scientific confirmed its reputation for predicting it incorrectly. Now, to be fair, they did have Fert and Grunberg in contention for the 2006 Nobel prize…


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