Scholars' Research Spawned PDAs: German, French Scientists Win Nobel Prize in Physics
If you're reading this article or own anything with a hard drive, chances are good that you owe a debt of gratitude to the two men -- France's Albert Fert and Germany's Peter Grünberg -- awarded this year's Nobel Prize in physics.
Physicist Peter Grünberg joined the ranks of Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Niels Bohr Tuesday as a Nobel physics laureate.
Both realized the importance of their discoveries early on. But while both rushed to publish their findings, Grünberg -- wisely, it turned out -- took a break to file a patent application for the discovery. They will split the awards bounty of 10 million Swedish kronor (1.1 million; $1.5 million).
"The MP3 and iPod industry would not have existed without this discovery," Borje Johansson, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the prize annually, told the Associated Press.
Grünberg, 68, was born in Pilsen, now in the Czech Republic. He taught at the Institute for Solid State Physics at the Jülich Research Centre, near Aachen, for 32 years until his 2004 retirement.
Fert, 69, is the scientific director of Paris-Sud University's Mixed Unit for Physics at CNRS/Thales in Orsay, France.
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