Computing Faster with Quasi-Particles

May 10, 2019

Scheme of a two-dimensional Josephson junction: A normal conducting two-dimensional electron gas sandwiched between two superconductors S (grey). If an in-plane magnetic field is applied, Majorana fermions are expected to appear at the ends of the normal region. Credit: Ewelina Hankiewicz.

Majorana particles are very peculiar members of the family of elementary particles. First predicted in 1937 by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, these particles belong to the group of so-called fermions, a group that also includes electrons, neutrons and protons. Majorana fermions are electrically neutral and also their own anti-particles. These exotic particles can, for example, emerge as quasi-particles in topological superconductors and represent ideal building blocks for topological quantum computers.

On the road to such topological quantum computers based on Majorana quasi-particles, physicists from the University of Würzburg together with colleagues from Harvard University (USA) have made an important step: Whereas previous experiments in this field have mostly focused on one-dimensional systems, the teams from Würzburg and Harvard have succeeded in going to two-dimensional systems.

In this collaboration, the groups of Ewelina Hankiewicz (Theoretische Physik IV) and Laurens Molenkamp (Experimentelle Physik III) from the University of Würzburg teamed up with the groups of Amir Yacoby and Bertrand Halperin from Harvard University. Their findings are presented in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature...

Continue reading "Computing faster with quasi-particles" by Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, phys.org, May 10, 2019. https://phys.org/news/2019-05-faster-quasi-particles.html.

Also read: H. Ren, F. Pientka, S. Hart, A.T. Pierce, M. Kosowsky, L. Lunczer, R. Schlereth, B. Scharf, E.M. Hankiewicz, L.W. Molenkamp, B.I. Halperin & A. Yacoby, "Topological superconductivity in a phase-controlled Josephson junction," Nature 569 (2019)  DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1148-9.