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Physics of the iPod awarded Nobel Prize - International Herald Tribune

STOCKHOLM: Albert Fert of France and Peter Grünberg of Germany were awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for a discovery that has shrunk the size of hard disks found in computers, iPods and other digital devices.

The duo discovered a totally new physical effect that has let the computer industry develop sensitive reading tools for information stored on computer hard drives from the tiniest laptops to portable music and video players.

"The MP3 and iPod industry would not have existed without this discovery," Borje Johansson, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said. "You would not have an iPod without this effect."

In its citation, the Nobel academy said the discovery could also be considered "one of the first real applications of the promising field of nanotechnology," the science dedicated to building materials from the molecular level.

"Applications of this phenomenon have revolutionized techniques for retrieving data from hard disks," the prize citation said. "The discovery also plays a major role in various magnetic sensors as well as for the development of a new generation of electronics."

by Fran on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 12:32:52 AM EST
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