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Grasping the Subject of the Nobel Prize

Jülich GMR exhibit on the road from today in the "nanoTruck"

[19. Februar 2008]

Jülich, 19 February 2008 - From today, an exhibit on the GMR effect for whose discovery physicist Peter A. Grünberg from Research Centre Jülich was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics last year is on display in a mobile nanotechnology exhibition supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The socalled "nanoTruck" visits events in schools, universities and research institutions among other things. The GMR effect made enormous increases possible in the storage density of hard discs. Grünberg and a team from Jülich played a key role in the development of the exhibit, which turns the quantum-physics phenomena into something that the general public can also "grasp".

"The exhibition is intended to explain the scientific, social and economic significance of nanotechnology and to stimulate the dialogue between the science community and the general public", said Grünberg. He is delighted that his work is contributing to this process. The Nobel Laureate was also involved in designing the exhibit. Using a sensitive GMR sensor, visitors can measure a magnetic field by themselves with the aid of a computer. Another exhibit on the GMR effect has been on display since December 2006 in the Deutsches Museumin Munich.

Giant magnetoresistance - or the GMR effect for short - is found in more than 90 % of the hard disks produced today. It is used for the precise readout of data. These data are stored tightly packed in small areas of different magnetization. A sensor that makes use of the GMR effect registers these differences as a large measurable change and is therefore able to function in a highly sensitive manner.

BMBF first sent the nanoTruck on its journey around Germany in January 2004. The exhibition vehicle presents a broad audience with the complex and fascinating world of nanotechnology. The newly conceived campaign does not just aim to provide the general public with basic knowledge on nanotechnology; it also aims to deepen the existing knowledge amongst school children, prospective students, teachers, and small and medium enterprises in particular.


Press contact:

Angela Wenzik, Science Journalist
Research Centre Jülich, Institute of Solid State Research
52425 Jülich, Germany
Tel.: 49 2461 61-6048