(Wired) A Microsoft-Led team retracted a disputed quantum-computing paper published in 2018 in Nature that claimed to have found evidence of an elusive subatomic particle. A review found that the group had omitted key data.
The retracted paper came from a lab headed by Microsoft physicist Leo Kouwenhoven at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. It claimed to have found evidence of Majorana particles, long-theorized but never conclusively detected. The elusive entities are at the heart of Microsoft’s approach to quantum computing hardware.
Other physicists had questioned the discovery after receiving fuller data from the Delft team. Sergey Frolov, from the University of Pittsburgh, and Vincent Mourik, at University of New South Wales, in Australia, said it appeared that data that cast doubt on the Majorana claim was withheld.
Monday, the original authors published a retraction note in the prestigious journal Nature.
The Delft lab released raw data from its 2018 experiment Monday. Frolov and Mourik say that it should also release full data from its Majorana hunting project going back until 2010 for others to analyze.
In a statement, Microsoft’s vice president for quantum computing, Zulfi Alam, called the authors’ handling of the incident an “an excellent example of the scientific process at work” and said the company remains confident in its approach to developing quantum computers.