Albert Fert

Albert Fert (b. March 7, 1938) is a French physicist and one of the discoverers of giant magnetoresistance which brought about a breakthrough in gigabyte hard disks. He is currently professor at Université Paris-Sud in Orsay and scientific director of a joint laboratory ('Unité mixte de recherche') between the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (National Scientific Research Centre) and Thales Group. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Peter Grünberg.


Fert graduated in 1962 from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He received his master's degree in 1963 at the University of Paris, and earned his PhD in 1970 at the Université Paris-Sud.

In 1988 Fert discovered the Giant magnetoresistance effect (GMR) in multilayers of iron and chromium which is recognized as the birth of spintronics; GMR was simultaneously and independently discovered by Peter Grünberg from the Jülich Research Centre. Since 1988, Albert Fert has made contributions to the field of spintronics.


* American Physical Society International Prize for New Materials (1994)
* Grand prix de physique Jean Ricard of the French Physical Society (1994)
* International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Magnetism Award (1994)
* Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize (1997)
* Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Gold Medal (2003)
* Wolf Prize in Physics (2006)
* Japan Prize (2007)
* Elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 2004
* Nobel Prize in Physics (2007)


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