Our research institute is named after a 2007 Nobel Laureate: Prof. Peter Grünberg. Sadly I heard that Peter Grünberg passed away today.
Peter Grünberg in 1988 discovered giant magnetoresistance (GMR), for which in 2007 together with Albert Fert received the Nobel prize.
Their discovery allowed the storage capacity of hard drives to be significantly increased and made the miniaturization of storage devices. GMR is the sudden change in electrical resistance of a material, made of alternating ferromagnetic and non-magnetic metal layers, when exposed to large magnetic field. If magnetization of neighbouring layers is parallel, electrical resistance heavily drops, however if antiparallel the resistance goes much much higher. So this makes a large potential barrier between spin up and spin down, which can be used to code information on such a device.