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About Peter Grünberg

The Nobel Committee jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2007 to the Jülich researcher Peter Grünberg and his colleague Albert Fert from the University of Paris-Sud.

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The solid-state physicists were honoured for their discovery of the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect. The GMR effect led to a breakthrough in gigabyte hard disks and laid the foundation for the field of spintronics. In particular, after the implementation of the GMR effect in read heads in 1997, less than ten years after the discovery, the annual increase in the storage density of hard discs rose from 60 percent to almost 100 percent.

The GMR effect enables data to be read out very precisely. Sensors that make use of the GMR effect register tiny differences in magnetization with extreme sensitivity. In addition to the technological impact, the discovery of the GMR effect created an entirely new research area known as spintronics. Spintronics strives to exploit the quantum mechanical properties of the electron spin and electron charge on an equal footing for future applications in microelectronics and nanoelectronics.

Advancing fundamental research to pave the way for novel technological concepts in information technology - this motto encapsulates the work of Peter Grünberg. It is also the guiding principle of the Peter Grünberg Institute.

Prof. Dr. Peter Grünberg

Nobel Prize in Physics 2007


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