NESTA BENNO JOSEPH
Title: The Search for Majorana Fermions
Thursday, 30th September 2021 at 4.00 pm through MICROSOFT TEAMS
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Ever since Ettore Majorana’s description of real valued solutions1 to the Dirac equation, the scientific community has been in search for the elusive Majorana fermions — particles that are their own anti-particles. In condensed matter systems, these are theorised to exist as emergent quasi-particles. In 2001, Alexei Kitaev proposed a toy model2 which predicts the existence of these Majorana bound states at the edges of 1D superconducting chains. Over the years, there have been many theoretical models and device schemes proposed, and different material properties and experimental setups identified3, for the physical realisation of Kitaev’s model. The successful generation and detection of these particles are an important step forward in realising topological qubits and quantum logic gates4.
This seminar is a brief introduction to Majorana fermions and their existence as quasiparticles in condensed matter systems. I will talk about attempts in recent years to observe Majorana states and why these particles are still proving to be elusive.
- Majorana, Ettore. Il Nuovo Cimento (1924-1942) 14.4 (1937): 171-184.
- Kitaev, A. Yu. Physics-uspekhi 44.10S (2001): 131.
- Alicea, Jason. Reports on progress in physics 75.7 (2012): 076501.
- Sarma, Sankar Das, Michael Freedman, and Chetan Nayak. npj Quantum Information 1.1 (2015): 1-13.