September 27, 2012

Signature of long-sought particle that could revolutionize quantum computing seen by Purdue physicist

A Purdue University physicist has observed evidence of long-sought Majorana fermions, special particles that could unleash the potential of fault-tolerant quantum computing.

Leonid Rokhinson, an associate professor of physics, led a team that is the first to successfully demonstrate the fractional a.c. Josephson effect, which is a signature of the particles.

"The search for this particle is for condensed-matter physicists what the Higgs boson search was for high-energy particle physicists," Rokhinson said. "It is a very peculiar object because it is a fermion yet it is its own antiparticle with zero mass and zero charge."