October 9, 2007 / 2:31 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Fert & Gruenberg, winners of Nobel Physics Prize

(Reuters) - Albert Fert and Peter Gruenberg won the 2007 Nobel Prize for physics for their work with nanotechnology, the Nobel Committee for Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday.

The prestigious 10 million Swedish crown (756,000 pound) prize recognised the pair’s work which has allowed the radical miniaturisation of hard disks.

This was the second of this year’s crop of Nobel prizes.

Here are some details about the winners:

* ALBERT FERT:

-- Albert Fert was born in Carcassonne, France in March 1938. He was a graduate of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and a doctor in physical sciences.

-- From 1970 to 1995, he led a research team at the Solid State Physics Laboratory (Laboratoire de Physique des Solides) at the Faculty of Sciences at Orsay. In 1995 he was one of the founders of the CNRS/Thales Joint Physics Unit.

-- His research in the field of nanosciences, and especially the discovery of giant magnetic resistance, has already had a major impact on information and communications technologies.

-- Since 1997, all hard disk drive read heads have used the giant magnetic resistance of magnetic multilayers in order to read the information recorded on magnetic discs. This has made it possible to multiply the amount of information stored on one disk a hundredfold.

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