Two European scientists won the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for a discovery that lets computers, iPods and other digital devices store reams of data on ever-shrinking hard drives.
France’s Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg independently discovered a physical effect in 1988 has led to sensitive tools for reading the information stored on hard disks. That sensitivity lets the electronics industry use smaller and smaller disks.
“The MP3 and iPod industry would not have existed without this discovery,” Borje Johansson, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences told The Associated Press. “You would not have an iPod without this effect.”