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2007: MSU-PA Adjunct Professor Albert-Fert wins Nobel Prize

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Albert Fert, Professor at the Université Paris-Sud and also Adjunct Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University (MSU), and Peter Grünberg, Scientist at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, are sharing the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance”.

Photo of Albert Fert

MSU-PA has very strong collaborative ties with the group of Prof. Fert, which began when Prof. Peter Schroeder spent a sabbatical leave in Paris in 1990, a couple of years after the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance in 1988. Prior to this visit, the MSU group of Professors Jack Bass, Bill Pratt, and Peter Schroeder had set up a state-of-the-art system for producing excellent multilayer samples. Starting with Peter’s visit, part of the time on this system was used to make new samples for collaborative research with Prof. Fert. Included in this collaboration were studies of a new measuring geometry, current-perpendicular to the plane of the multilayers, where measurements were pioneered by the MSU group, and Prof. Fert and a collaborator T. Valet provided the model to analyze the data. This collaboration involved visits by both MSU faculty and Prof. Fert to each other’s laboratories, and visits by several French students and post docs to MSU to make samples and carry out measurements. The result has been a very dynamic collaboration.

Our heartfelt congratulations go to the newly minted Nobel laureates Prof. Albert Fert and to Dr. Grünberg, but also to our faculty colleagues Jack Bass, Bill Pratt, and Peter Schroeder for making their own important contributions to this important field of fundamental physics research, which constitutes the scientific basis for all modern Gigabyte PC hard drives.


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