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Congratulations to Albert Fert and Peter Gruenberg October 9, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.

They got the Physics Nobel prize. Wow! They were the ones that discovered giant magneto-resistance – which is what has enabled a lot of magnetic storage media (like disk drives). The cool thing is that Albert Fert, who is French, is a director of a lab here that is run by CNRS. CNRS are the people that are funding my stay here in France (actually, they fund all of research in France, of all types). See? I must be smart! I’m connected with a Nobel prize winner! Actually, I’m not so smart; I need to go and learn a bit more about this now.



1. Kevin - October 9, 2007

CNRS not only funds the research in CNRS-sposored labs, but it is also the employer of the permanent researchers there. It would be like working for NSF at UW (which you probably do to some degree), you would also have flexibility to move to another university or lab. These positions do come with compulsory teaching. In fact, there is a second “tier” of university researchers who have two to three times the teaching load of a typical american assistant professor.

It is also interesting to note that Fert is affiliated with the French technology company Thales–could be a nice recruiting point for new physics grad students. In France it is difficult to take a science PhD into industry since industrial R&D is much less developed there than it is in the US or Germany.

Health research is largely supported by the Institut national de la santé et de la recherce médicale (Inserm).

2. Kevin - October 9, 2007

correction: I meant to say “these positions do *not* come with compulsory teaching”. Sorry.

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