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The discovery of the Majorana Fermion Particle could bring us a step closer to super quantum computing.

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It is considered that every fundamental particle has an anti-particle. However, in 1937, Ettore Majorana theorised that a particle could be its own anti-particle. Now scientists at the University of California, in collaboration with Stanford University, have observed the Majorana Particle – also known as the Majorana Fermion.

In an article in today’s International Business Times – Discovery of Majorana Fermion Particle paves way for creation of Quantum Super Computers – it has been identified that scientists, at the University of California and the  Stanford University , have observed Majorana Fermion Particles, with the utilisation of quantum materials and superconductors within a chilled vacuum. Given the unique properties associated with this particle, it means that certain hurdles, related to the interference of environmental noise, connected to quantum computing, could be overcome (International Business Times, July, 2017).

To gain the observations of the Majorana particle, scientists utilised layers of quantum materials, a superconductor and a magnetic topological insulator. They then passed electrons through the material within a chilled vacuum. Consequently the electrons were able to travel along the edge of the quantum material with no resistance. To ensure the electrons were moving in the same direction a small amount of magnetic material was added. Once the electrons were moving in a constant direction the scientists swept a magnet near the experiment to slow, stop and reverse the flow of the electrons. During this process the scientists noticed that another particle, that moved half as high as the electrons, followed this pattern, which exemplifies the behaviour expected from a Majorana Fermion Particle (International Business Times, July, 2017).

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Shoucheng Zhang, a theoretical physicist and one of the senior scientists of the research paper, advised that the Majorana Fermion particle could allow for a qubit of information to be stored separately, on two different Majoranan particles. This would mean that interference from environmental noise would be unable to corrupt the information stored on the fundamental particle, which has been problematic for the development of quantum computers in the past. The research is published in the Science Journal.

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