Who and for what in 2007 gets Nobel Prizes on physics and chemistry?
Rewarding of Nobel laureates are carried out annually in Stockholm on December 10 - in day of death of Alfred Nobel. This day its will about establishment of an award was announced.
The Nobel Prize in chemistry for 2007 is awarded to the scientist from Germany Gerhard Ertl (Gerhard Ertl) for outstanding achievements in the research “ chemical processes on firm surfaces “.
What special occurs on a surface of solid bodies?
As the expert in the field of physics of a solid body, I already wrote here and here that on a surface of a crystal lattice there are interesting physical processes.
the Real surface of solid bodies is also the catalyst of many chemical processes.
It is possible to call Ertl the father of a catalysis - accelerations of chemical reactions. For purification of air - decomposition on a surface of the catalyst of harmful substances I wrote about application of a catalysis too here. All know also of use of the catalyst in exhaust pipes of cars. Many technological processes in chemistry go with use of catalysts. And everywhere the surface of solid bodies works, and the catalyst is not spent. Atoms of crystals as if help separate chemical components to connect in the necessary molecules, working as operators in nanotechnologies.
The chemistry of a surface demands the advanced high-vacuum experimental equipment as its main goal - supervision over behavior of individual atoms or molecules, for example, on high-pure surfaces of metal. The slightest pollution when performing such observation and measuring experiments endangers their result. Receiving a full-fledged picture of the reaction proceeding on a surface demands high-precision measurements and a combination of versatile experimental techniques.
Gerhard Ertl founded experimental school, having shown as reliable results can be received in such difficult area as surface chemistry. Its developments laid the scientific foundation of modern chemistry of a surface, its methodology is used both in basic researches, and in development of chemical productions.
Other work of Ertl which became one more break in science - opening by means of photoelectronic microscopy of earlier unknown phenomenon. The scientist for the first time in the world observed “ portrait “ chemical reaction - so-called chemical waves on a surface of catalysts. It allowed to understand, even more deeply to understand a reaction essence.
It is curious that in day of the announcement of award of the Nobel Prize to Gerhard Ertl - on October 11 - he was 71 years old. He declared that it is the best gift on birthday for all his life.
The Nobel Prize on physics in 2007 is got by Frenchman Albert Fer (Albert Fert) and German Peter Gruenberg (Peter Grunberg) who in 1988 independently from each other opened effect of a huge magnetoresistance. And what is it? It is one more application of nanotechnologies about which I already wrote.
What is the electric resistance - study at school. About the law of Ohm all heard. Electric current is the ordered movement of electrons on the conductor from a negative pole to positive. Depending on feature of structure and structure of this conductor this movement can experience difficulties - each conductor possesses the resistance. 150 years ago, in 1857, it was open that the magnetic field exerts impact on resistance of conductors also. The matter is that each electron has own magnetic field caused by its rotation around own axis. This property of an electron is called to backs - from the English word designating rotation. As electrons and their magnetic fields (backs) in the conductor are located chaotically, that external magnetic field almost does not influence their movement. It in usual wires.
Another matter - in metal films thickness in several nanometers. Fer and Gruenberg found out that backs of electrons in them under the influence of external even a small magnetic field can be oriented in one party. At the same time the thin film will have the minimum electric resistance. But if to develop part of spin in other party, film resistance sharply increases.
Achievements of modern nanotechnologies allowed to create the substance consisting of several layers of nanofilms with different electric and magnetic properties. For example, the main conductor layer from an alloy of iron and nickel. On it electrons flow. Closely to it - a thin not magnetic layer. Following - a layer from the material having constant magnetization. The third magnetic film forces all backs of electrons to orient in the first in the direction of the magnetic field. Its resistance will be minimum. But if we from the carrying-out film bring other magnetic, then about it backs will turn over, and resistance of the carrying-out film will sharply increase. There is an electric signal.
Remember tape recorders. They had magnetic heads from magnetic material with the wires which are reeled up on it. On wires the signal was given, and the magnetic field of the core changed according to this signal. By a head the magnetic film in which the variation magnetic field registered was scrolled. If then to scroll a film with record by a head again, then in a winding of a head there was current which then amplified. And we could hear a sound or to see the image. Record density depended on the size of a head. You remember how with reduction of the sizes of heads the speed of the movement of a tape of tape recorders with 50 - x to 70 - x decreased years with 19 to 9, and then and to 4 cm/sec. The same tendency was observed later and in videorecorders.
And in the first computers in memory the same magnetic heads for record on a magnetic tape, and later - on a magnetic disk were used. Opening of present Nobel laureates in combination with modern nanotechnologies allowed to reduce sharply the size of heads and it is essential to increase record density. I remember that in my first computer at the beginning of 90 - x years the volume of the hard drive was 300 megabytes, following in 1998 - 8. 3 gigabytes. At present - 300 gigabytes. And it - not a limit.
Nanotechnologies are improved, and the sizes of films of heads can be brought to thickness in several atoms. And density of record and memory sizes will increase in thousands of times!
Alfred Nobel also bequeathed to award awards for the opening having great practical value. And the impetus to development of nanotechnologies was given in due time by opening of Rudolf Mossbauer about which I wrote too. Such here continuity of Nobel laureates!