Albert Fert (älbâr´ fâr), 1938– French physicist, b. Carcassonne, France. After receiving his Ph.D. at the Univ. of Paris-Sud in 1970 Fert accepted a teaching position there and headed a research group, becoming a professor in 1976. In 1988 he discovered a physical effect he named giant magnetoresistance (GMR) because tiny changes in a magnetic field produced large changes in electrical resistance. For this discovery, which gave rise to the field of spintronics, he shared the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics with Peter Grünberg, who had independently discovered GMR. Since 1995 he has served as the scientific director of a joint laboratory between France's National Scientific Research Center and the Thales Group.