Obituary| Prof. Peter Grünberg


Prof. Peter Grünberg, a German physicist who received the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics and was also an honorary doctorate by Tohoku University, passed away in April 7. The age was 78.

Prof. Grünberg got PhD in 1969 from the Darmstadt University of Technology. From 1972 until his retirement in 2004, he was a research scientist at the Institute for Solid State Research (renamed Peter Grünberg Institute later) in Jülich Research Center.

He worked on magnetism such as spin waves for his career and discovered the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect. GMR was used as a technology for magnetic heads in hard disc drives, and made a major contribution to the development of IT.

The discovery of GMR is said to be the origin of spintronics which is regarded as next-generation electronics. For this achievement, he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics. 

Prof. Grünberg had a close relationship with Tohoku University, especially several researchers in IMR. In 1998, he was invited as a guest professor of IMR for a half year. After getting the Nobel Prize, he received the honorary doctor degree at Tohoku University in 2008. He also gave a special lecture in the 100th anniversary of IMR in 2016.

The research achievements in his life have effected many researchers, particularly in the field of spintronics, and made a great contribution to the development of the field.

We pray for his soul in peace.


Obituary for Prof. Peter Grünberg

Koki Takanashi, Director of IMR

I stayed in Jülich Research Center from 1994 to 1995 as an Alexander-von-Humboldt research fellow to make collaborative research work with Prof. Peter Grünberg. I shared the same office with him and always enjoyed discussion about science and something miscellaneous. He and his family also took good care of my family. Since then, he has always been a good friend, a good collaborator, and a good teacher for me. 

When he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007, he invited me to the ceremony and banquet in Stockholm. It was a great honor for me, and I was very happy to be there. 

I have several times invited Prof. Grünberg to Tohoku University as a guest professor. He also made a great contribution to the research and education in Tohoku University. 

His sudden death has really shocked me. I wish to express my deep gratitude to Prof. Grünberg for his kindness which he gave us in his lifetime, and my deep condolence to his family. Rest in piece.