After the discovery, Fert and his team continue to explore the use of electron spin on electrical conduction. In 1995 he becomes the director of the combined CNRS/Thales Joint Physics Unit, developing the new science of ‘spintronics’.
He studies mathematics and physics at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He is interested in many things like photography and films – he even produces a movie, but he finally focuses on physics.
He returns to Université Paris-Sud and leads a research group at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides. He is promoted to the rank of professor in 1976.
Albert Fert is born in Carcassonne, a small town in the south of France.
He spends some time as a post-doc at the University of Leeds.
Albert Fert shares the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics with Peter Grünberg for their independent but almost simultaneous discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR). The phenomenon uses quantum physics to allow drastic reduction in size and price of computers and other digital technology. Through a deal with IBM the first read-out head based on the GMR effect is launched in 1997; this is still the basis of modern read-out techniques of today.
He earns his Master in physics at the University of Paris with his thesis "NMR of hydrogen absorbed by palladium" in 1963. During this time he works as an assistant at the University of Grenoble.
In 1988, Fert discovers a new physical effect – Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR), the basis for his Nobel Prize.
For the duration of the war, he and his brother live at their grandparents' farm in Montclar, a very small village in the foothills of the Pyrénées. In 1945, his father returns from the prisoner camp in Germany and the family is reunited in Toulouse. There he finishes his baccalauréat in 1957.
After his return, he works on his PhD thesis at the Université Paris-Sud until 1970. His research is about electron transport in nickel and iron. His findings during that time comprise a large part of the basis for spintronics today, and turn out useful for his later nobel-winning work.
He marries Marie-Josée Ortega. The couple have two children.
He spends a year in national military service.