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Peter Grünberg

AKA Peter Andreas Grünberg

Born: 18-May-1939
Birthplace: Pilsen, Czech Republic
Died: 7-Apr-2018
Location of death: Jülich, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Giant magnetoresistance

German physicist Peter Grünberg discovered that thin layers of alternating metals react noticeably to even the most minute changes in magnetism, as a combination of magnetism and electron spin causes conductance in the stacks of magnetic layers the change. Called giant magnetoresistance (GMR), this is the principle that allows mind-bogglingly tiny particles to be used in data storage, generating the electrical signals that computers read. Advances in GMR have allowed hard disks to read and write much more data, leading to cheaper and more reliable computers, mp3 players, and countless further high-tech applications. Grünberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2007, sharing the honor and cash stipend (about US$1.5 million) with French physicist Albert Fert, who conducted similar research concurrently but independently.

Father: Theodore Grünberg (d. 1945 prison camp)
Mother: Anna
Wife: Helma Prausa (m. 1966, one son, two daughters)
Son: Andreas Grünberg (b. 1973)
Daughter: Sylvia Grünberg (b. 1974)
Daughter: Katharina Grünberg (b. 1981)

    High School: Lauterbach Gymnasium, Lauterbach, Germany (1959)
    University: BS Mathematics, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (1962)
    University: MS Physics, Darmstadt University of Technology (1966)
    University: PhD Physics, Darmstadt University of Technology (1969)
    Scholar: Physics, Carleton University (1969-72)
    Scholar: Physics, University of Cologne (1984)
    Professor: Physics, Tohoku University (1988)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Cologne (1992-2004)

    Wolf Prize in Physics 2006 (with Albert Fert)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 2007 (with Albert Fert)
    Japan Prize 2007
    Jülich Research Center Institute for Solid State Physics (1972-2004)
    Argonne National Laboratory (1984-85)

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