Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I will be deliriously curious to see how nano-advocates react to the news today of the 2007 Nobel prize in physics...unlike quotidian applications of nanosize particles (which seems to be all DC policy makers and pundits can think of).

As NPR reported this morning:
France's Albert Fert and German Peter Grunberg will share the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics for a discovery that has allowed a radical reduction in the size and increase in the capacity of computer hard drives.The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in its citation on Tuesday the technology was "one of the first real applications of the promising field of nanotechnology," which deals with extremely small devices." 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."

Fert and Gruenberg are two central characters in an article and series of talks I gave on the history of spintronics. "Spintonicists" see their work as marking the beginning of the field.


  1. Your research on spintronics is quite timely. How did you decide to study this particular scientific community?

  2. I wish I could remember the details of why I picked this. I was interested in nanoelectronics in general (as it seems one of the commercially-important applications of real nanotechnology)and UCSB was hosting a 3-month meeting on spintronics in 2006...so all the field's leaders were coming to town and I could interview them here. Very convenient. Plus the topic allowed for connections between physics, materials science, and the electronics industry...