Prof. Stuart Parkin honored with the 2024 APS Medal

Parkin to receive American Physical Society’s Highest Award for Contributions to Spintronics and Data Storage

Prof. Stuart Parkin has been honored with the 2024 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research by the American Physical Society.

The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded Prof. Stuart Parkin the 2024 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research. Parkin will be recognized “for major discoveries in spintronics leading to a revolution in data storage and memory” at a ceremony during the APS Annual Leadership Meeting in January 2024. The APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research is the most significant honor awarded to recognize researchers from all areas of physics, with only one scientist being honored annually.

“Stuart Parkin is a luminary whose incisive experiments and major discoveries in spintronics led to a revolution in data storage and memory,” said APS President-Elect Young-Kee Kim, who chaired the medal’s selection committee. “His indomitable spirit of inquiry has forever altered our perception of the world around us.”

Parkin’s key contributions to the field of spintronics include demonstrating how to achieve very high levels of an effect known as tunneling magnetoresistance in a material at room temperature. This discovery enabled a dramatic increase in digital data storage capabilities, now widely used in commercial magnetic disk drives and random-access memory (RAM) for over 25 years. Parkin also proposed a design for a memory device called racetrack memory, which reads and encodes digital information in the boundaries between magnetized regions, or domains, in an array of nanowires. This innovation could lead to devices with even higher digital data storage density.

I really appreciate this award from the APS. Physics is central to my life and work and it is such a great honor to have been able to contribute to the field,” said the newly crowned award winner.

Parkin has been the Director of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics since 2014, leading the department of Nano-Systems from Ions, Spins, and Electrons. He is also an Alexander von Humboldt Professor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and has recently been recognized as a Clarivate Citation Laureate.

About APS

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

Parts of this release are based on information from the press release of the American Physical Society.

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