The science that makes the iPod wins Nobel in Physics

Fert and Grünberg, who maintain a cordial relationship and colleagues have together already received top awards working in the eighties in these investigations. They announced the results in 1988, and less than a decade later there was a genuine revolution in the miniaturization of electronics. The readers based on giant magnetoresistance came to the market in 1997 and since then has been manufactured and marketed millions of units.

The physical phenomenon of the giant magnetoresistence essentially means that some changes in the very weak magnetic field applied in certain special materials made of very thin layers can produce enormous changes in electrical resistance. This is the storage of data on a hard disk of an electronic device and sensor 'read heads'.

For the committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences designating the Nobel Prize in Physics, this combination of basic and applied research has launched a new generation of electronics and is one of the first major applications of nanotechnology. Its use has only just begun, with the hard drives of computers and compact storage devices massive files, such as music. New magnetic memory systems of computers, microcomputers for automobiles or appliances and the whole communications sector, will arrive soon to consumers in the hands of the technologies derived from the work of Fert and Grünberg.

Source: El País

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