Albert Fert wins Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize 2007 in Physics has been awarded to Albert Fert from France and Peter Grünberg from Germany. These two scientists were at the origin of the discovery of giant magnetoresistance.


Albert Fert is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, currently Professor at the University of Paris Orsay and head of the research laboratory of CNRS-Thalès on the campus of the Ecole Polytechnique at Palaiseau, near Paris. Albert Fert’s has concentrated on Condensed Matter Physics and in particular on the exploitation of the properties of electron spin. In studying these properties, Albert Fert and his collaborators discovered this giant magnetoresistance (GMR). A few months later, this pioneer work published in 1988 was confirmed by P. Grünberg at Julich (Germany).

This phenomenon has now numerous applications. Using nanotechnology, it has become possible to pack much more data onto hard disks and develop handheld devices such as MP3 digital audio players, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) etc..

Albert Fert and his team of CNRS and Thales scientists have already accomplished a new step in developing the Tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) in order to implement a new generation of memory on hard disk, MRAMs (Magnetic Random Access Memory).

So Professor A. Fert follows the three French Nobel Prize winners of the past 16 years: Cl Cohen Tannoudji (1997), G. Charpak (1992) and the late P-G. de Gennes (1991).

Last modified on 16/01/2009

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