• January 2020
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The Case of the Elusive Majorana: So-Called ‘Angel Particle’ Still a Mystery Penn State News

Sam Sholtis
January 3, 2020

A study by researchers at Pennsylvania (Penn) State University and Germany’s University of Wurzburg casts doubt on the reported discovery of the chiral Majorana fermion in 2017. Analog versions of Majorana fermions are considered a potential pathway for building a topological quantum computer, with quantum bits shielded from environmental decoherence. The researchers analyzed dozens of devices similar to the one used to generate the so-called angel particle in the 2017 report. They found that the feature claimed to be the manifestation of the Majorana fermion was unlikely to be triggered by its existence. Said Penn State’s Cui-Zu Chang, “An important first step toward this distant dream of creating a topological quantum computer is to demonstrate definitive experimental evidence for the existence of Majorana fermions in condensed matter. Over the past seven or so years, several experiments have claimed to show such evidence, but the interpretation of these experiments is still debated.”

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