2007 Nobel Prize in Physics

Posted on October 10, 2007  Comments (2)

Nobel Prize in Physics 2007

This year’s physics prize is awarded for the technology that is used to read data on hard disks. It is thanks to this technology that it has been possible to miniaturize hard disks so radically in recent years. Sensitive read-out heads are needed to be able to read data from the compact hard disks used in laptops and some music players, for instance.

In 1988 the Frenchman Albert Fert and the German Peter Grünberg each independently discovered a totally new physical effect – Giant Magnetoresistance or GMR. Very weak magnetic changes give rise to major differences in electrical resistance in a GMR system. A system of this kind is the perfect tool for reading data from hard disks when information registered magnetically has to be converted to electric current. Soon researchers and engineers began work to enable use of the effect in read-out heads. In 1997 the first read-out head based on the GMR effect was launched and this soon became the standard technology. Even the most recent read-out techniques of today are further developments of GMR.

Related: 2006 Nobel Prize in PhysicsWebcasts by Chemistry and Physics Nobel Laureates

2 Responses to “2007 Nobel Prize in Physics”

  1. CuriousCat: Werner Heisenberg
    August 6th, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

    Read a very nice biography from Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics for Werner Heisenberg, the founder of quantum mechanics, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle…

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009
    October 8th, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    […] How telephone echoes lead to digital cameras – 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics – 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics – posts on Nobel laureates by curiouscat   […]

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