On the Border Between Matter and Anti-Matter: Nanoscientists Find Long-Sought Majorana Particle

ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2012) — Scientists at TU Delft’s Kavli Institute and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM Foundation) have succeeded for the first time in detecting a Majorana particle. In the 1930s, the brilliant Italian physicist Ettore Majorana deduced from quantum theory the possibility of the existence of a very special particle, a particle that is its own anti-particle: the Majorana fermion. That ‘Majorana’ would be right on the border between matter and anti-matter.

Nanoscientist Leo Kouwenhoven already caused great excitement among scientists in February by presenting the preliminary results at a scientific congress. Today, the scientists have published their research in Science. The research was financed by the FOM Foundation and Microsoft.

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Image Info:  The device is made of an indium antemonide nanowire, covered with a gold contact and partially covered with a superconducting niobium contact. The Majorana fermions are created at the end of the nanowire.

Info Credit: Copyright TU Delft 2012

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