(Phys.org) A joint team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is getting closer to confirming the existence of an exotic quantum particle called Majorana fermion, crucial for fault-tolerant quantum computing—the kind of quantum computing that addresses errors during its operation.
Majorana fermions exist at the boundary of special superconductors called topological superconductors, which have a superconducting gap in their interiors and harbor Majorana fermions outside, at their boundaries. Majorana fermions are one of the most sought-after objects in quantum physics because they are their own antiparticles, they can split the quantum state of an electron in half, and they follow different statistics compared to electrons.
“The study is important for future manipulation of Majorana fermions, required for better quantum computing,” Wei said. “Also, the surface state of gold is a two-dimensional system that is naturally scalable, meaning it allows the building of Majorana fermion circuits.”