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About the Nobel Prize in physics

The 2007 Nobel Prize in physics was announced on Tuesday, October 9, 2007. This year's prize goes to German Peter Grünberg and Frenchman Albert Fert. The two men independently discovered a phenomenon called giant magnetoresistance. The discovery enabled the creation of the small hard drives used in many portable electronic devices.

The prize is awarded every year on December 10 in Stockholm, Sweden. Recipients are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Recent recipients:

- 2006: John C. Mather and George F. Smoot, "for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation."

- 2005: Roy J. Glauber, "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence," and John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch, "for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique."

- 2004: David J. Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek, "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction."

- 2003: Alexei A. Abrikosov, Vitaly L. Ginzburg and Anthony J. Leggett, "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids."

- 2002: Raymond Davis Jr. and Masatoshi Koshiba, "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos," and Riccardo Giacconi, "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources."

- 2001: Eric A. Cornell, Wolfgang Ketterle and Carl E. Wieman, "for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates."

- 2000: Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer, "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics," and Jack S. Kilby, "for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit."

- 1999: Gerardus 't Hooft and Martinus J.G. Veltman, "for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics."

- 1998: Robert B. Laughlin, Horst L. Störmer and Daniel C. Tsui, "for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations."

- 1997: Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips, "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light."

Source: The Nobel Foundation

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