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Chinese scientists detect mysterious Majorana particle

The Majorana zero mode can treated as an indication of finding the corresponding particle. (Representative image) Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Shanghai, China Jun 22, 2016, 01.38 PM (IST)
An academic paper published by the Physical Review Letters on Tuesday claims Chinese scientists have discovered the mysterious particle, Majorana fermion, in their experiment.

As a step toward the application of the quantum computing, the group of scientists based at Shanghai Jiao Tong University have made great efforts on the research of the Majorana fermion since 2009. After seven years, they finally detected the Majorana zero mode which could be treated as an indication of finding the corresponding particle.

"We first prepared and made a kind of topological superconductive material. With a series of experiments, we have confirmed the condition where the Majorana fermion could exist. Under such condition, we probed into its (Majorana fermion's) spinning property, in other words, the property of magnetism.

"It (Majorana fermion) passed the magnetic test and we have witnessed its magnetic property and in turn, proved its existence," said Jia Jinfeng, professor of Department of Physics and Astronomy within Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In addition to the finding of the particle, Chinese scientists have also figured out the effective way of regulating and controlling the Majorana fermion – a significant step toward its application on the quantum computing.

"With regard to the quantum computing, I will give an example to show its advantage. If we have a subject that needs calculation, the classical calculation will take 150,000 years, whereas the quantum computing will finish the calculation within one second, million times faster. And its (quantum computing's) capability is million times of our current supercomputers of Tianhe and Sunway-TaihuLight," said Wang Xi, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and researcher of Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology within the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The existence of the Majorana fermion was predicted by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana in 1937. Since then, physicists have followed Majorana's step of finding the particles for nearly 80 years.

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