Nobel prize in physics for Helmholtz scientist

October 09, 2007

Stockholm/Jülich, 9 October 2007 - The Nobel Prize in Physics goes to the German solid state physicist Prof. Dr. Peter Grünberg from the Helmholtz Research Centre in Jülich. Grünberg shares the award with his colleague Albert Fert (Paris-Sud University) for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance. In 1988, both scientists discovered this physical effect independently of each other.

„Peter Grünberg is an excellent basic researcher and has contributed substantially to the understanding of complex magnetic materials. At the same time, he quickly understood what a great benefit his discovery could be to the economy and ensured that it was speedily transformed into a market-dominating innovation," says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. The Giant Magnetoresistance is a quantum effect, which appears in layered structures of magnetic materials. The effect is used today in nearly every hard disk read-out head, as it allows the storage of extremely densely-packed information. The storage capacity of hard disks has therefore increased way beyond the gigabyte barrier since the mid 1990s. In addition, Grünberg's discovery laid the groundwork for the new research field of spintronics, which exploits the quantum spin states of electrons for usage in micro as well as nanoelectronics. "The fact that Grünberg has now received the Nobel Prize does not only please me personally, but also shows that the Helmholtz Association provides an excellent working environment for extraordinary researchers," says Mlynek.

Peter Grünberg was born 1939 in Pilsen (now Czech Republic). Following his studies and doctorate in Darmstadt and a three-year research stay in Canada, the scientist has been working at the Forschungszentrum Jülich since 1972. He has already received several internationally renowned prizes for his work: in 1998 he was awarded the "Zukunftspreis" (Future Prize) from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2006 he was honoured as "European Inventor of the Year". In 2007 Grünberg received the Stern Gerlach Medal, the Israeli Wolf Foundation Prize and also the Japan Prize in the category "Innovation through Basic Research", worth 300,000 euros.
The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research areas: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Transport and Space. With 25,700 employees in 15 research centres and an annual budget of approximately 2.3 billion euro, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).

Helmholtz Association

Related Physics Articles from Brightsurf:

Helium, a little atom for big physics
Helium is the simplest multi-body atom. Its energy levels can be calculated with extremely high precision only relying on a few fundamental physical constants and the quantum electrodynamics (QED) theory.

Hyperbolic metamaterials exhibit 2T physics
According to Igor Smolyaninov of the University of Maryland, ''One of the more unusual applications of metamaterials was a theoretical proposal to construct a physical system that would exhibit two-time physics behavior on small scales.''

Challenges and opportunities for women in physics
Women in the United States hold fewer than 25% of bachelor's degrees, 20% of doctoral degrees and 19% of faculty positions in physics.

Indeterminist physics for an open world
Classical physics is characterized by the equations describing the world.

Leptons help in tracking new physics
Electrons with 'colleagues' -- other leptons - are one of many products of collisions observed in the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.

Has physics ever been deterministic?
Researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Vienna and the University of Geneva, have proposed a new interpretation of classical physics without real numbers.

Twisted physics
A new study in the journal Nature shows that superconductivity in bilayer graphene can be turned on or off with a small voltage change, increasing its usefulness for electronic devices.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

2D topological physics from shaking a 1D wire
Published in Physical Review X, this new study propose a realistic scheme to observe a 'cold-atomic quantum Hall effect.'

Helping physics teachers who don't know physics
A shortage of high school physics teachers has led to teachers with little-to-no training taking over physics classrooms, reports show.

Read More: Physics News and Physics Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to