French scientist Albert Fert and Peter Grunberg of Germany won the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance, the Nobel committee announced on Tuesday. <b1>
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in its citation that their contribution "can also be considered one of the first real applications of the promising field of nanotechnology".
Their discovery has made it possible to miniaturise hard disks and has enabled computer users to quickly and easily store reams of data on hard drives.
The Nobel Prizes have been awarded annually since 1901 to those who "conferred the greatest benefit on mankind during the preceding year".
Each prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.53 million).
The Noble prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine and literature are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, capital of Norway.