space news

A new, multi-node FLEET review investigates the search for Majorana fermions in iron-based superconductors. The elusive Majorana fermion, or ‘angel particle’ proposed by Ettore Majorana in 1937, simultaneously behaves like a particle and an antiparticle – and surprisingly remains stable rather than being self-destructive.

Majorana fermions promise information and communications technology with zero resistance, addressing the rising energy consumption of modern electronics (already 8% of global electricity consumption), and promising a sustainable future for computing.

Additionally, it is the presence of Majorana zero-energy modes in topological superconductors that have made those exotic quantum materials the main candidate materials for realizing topological quantum computing.

The existence of Majorana fermions in condensed-matter systems will help in FLEET’s search for future low-energy electronic technologies.

The angel particle: both matter and antimatter
Fundamental particles such as electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks and neutrinos (called fermions) each have their distinct antiparticles. An antiparticle has the same mass as it’s ordinary partner, but opposite electric charge and magnetic moment.

Conventional fermion and anti-fermions constitute matter and antimatter, and annihilate each other when combined.

“The Majorana fermion is the only exception to this rule, a composite particle that is its own antiparticle,” says corresponding author Prof Xiaolin Wang (UOW).

However, despite the intensive searching for Majorana particles, the clue of its existence has been elusive for many decades, as the two conflicting properties (ie, it’s positive and negative charge) render it neutral and its interactions with the environment are very weak.

Topological superconductors: fertile ground for the angel particle
While the existence of the Majorana particle has yet to be discovered, despite extensive searches in high-energy physics facilities such as CERN, it may exist as a single-particle excitation in condensed-matter systems where band topology and superconductivity coexist.

“In the last two decades, Majorana particles have been reported in many superconductor heterostructures and have been demonstrated with strong potential in quantum computing applications” according to Dr Muhammad Nadeem, a FLEET postdoc at UOW.

A few years ago, a new type of material called iron-based topological superconductors were reported hosting Majorana particles without fabrication of heterostructures, which is significant for application in real devices.

“Our article reviews the most recent experimental achievements in these materials: how to obtain topological superconductor materials, experimental observation of the topological state, and detection of Majorana zero modes,” says first author UOW PhD candidate Lina Sang.

In these systems, quasiparticles may impersonate a particular type of Majorana fermion such as ‘chiral’ Majorana fermion, one that moves along a one-dimensional path and Majorana ‘zero mode’, one that remains bounded in a zero-dimensional space.

Applications of the Majorana zero mode
If such condensed-matter systems, hosting Majorana fermions, are experimentally accessible and can be characterized by a simple technique, it would help researchers to steer the engineering of low-energy technologies whose functionalities are enabled by exploiting unique physical characteristics of Majorana fermions, such as fault-tolerant topological quantum computing and ultra-low energy electronics.

The hosting of Majorana fermions in topological states of matter, topological insulators and Weyl semimetals will be covered in this month’s major international conference on the physics of semiconductors (ICPS), being held in Sydney Australia.

The IOP 2021 Quantum materials roadmap investigates the role of intrinsic spin-orbit coupling (SOC) based quantum materials for topological devices based on Majorana modes, laying out evidence at the boundary between strong SOC materials and superconductors, as well as in an iron-based superconductor.

Research Report:Majorana zero modes in iron-based superconductors

TECH NEWS RELATED

US to announce 'long-term' military reinforcements in Europe: official

The United States will announce new long-term military deployments across Europe in response to the threat from Russia while at the NATO summit in Madrid, a US official said Tuesday. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said there would be “specific announcements tomorrow on land, sea and air of additional ...

View more: US to announce 'long-term' military reinforcements in Europe: official

Turkey supports Finland and Sweden NATO bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday lifted his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO following crunch talks with the leaders of the two Nordic countries in Madrid. Erdogan had stubbornly refused to green light the applications from the Nordic pair — lodged in response to Russia’s war ...

View more: Turkey supports Finland and Sweden NATO bid

Kyiv mayor pleads for more weapons at NATO summit

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko on Tuesday urged NATO at an alliance summit in Madrid to “speed up” its delivery of weapons to Ukraine to help it fend off Russian attacks. “We expect (it to) speed up weapons to Ukraine, we expect (them) to continue to support Ukraine,” he told ...

View more: Kyiv mayor pleads for more weapons at NATO summit

Pro-China online network targets mineral firms: report

A Pro-China online network is targeting Western companies mining for elements used to make smartphones and other hi-tech products, US cybersecurity firm Mandiant said in a report on Tuesday. China controls 80 percent of the world’s supply of rare earth elements, vital components for anything from electric vehicles to ...

View more: Pro-China online network targets mineral firms: report

NASA, Rocket Lab launch orbiter to help pave way for astronauts' return to moon

NASA’s CAPSTONE mission spacecraft lifted off into space Tuesday morning on a mission to orbit the moon, moving scientists closer to returning astronauts. The unmanned lunar orbiter took off on top of a Rocket Lab booster from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The mission was originally set for Monday but ...

View more: NASA, Rocket Lab launch orbiter to help pave way for astronauts' return to moon

19 dead in India after building collapses in monsoon

At least 19 people were killed when monsoon rains caused a four-storey building to collapse in the Indian megacity of Mumbai, authorities said Tuesday. The structure — located next to a slum in a central city district — collapsed just before midnight on Monday, according to local officials. Fourteen ...

View more: 19 dead in India after building collapses in monsoon

Ukraine, climate, hunger: the G7 action plans

The world’s top industrialised nations wrapped up a three-day summit dominated by talks on how they can bolster Ukraine in repelling Russia’s invasion while minimising the international fallout. Here are the main plans drawn up by the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States ...

View more: Ukraine, climate, hunger: the G7 action plans

Iraq announces first cholera death since new outbreak

A cholera outbreak in Iraq claimed its first victim Tuesday, with 17 new cases recorded in the country within 24 hours, a health ministry spokesperson said. The death was recorded in the northern province of Kirkuk, the ministry’s Seif al-Badr was quoted as saying by state media. “Over the ...

View more: Iraq announces first cholera death since new outbreak

Oceans key to global warming fight: US climate envoy

Russia and China eye NATO's 'Arctic Achilles heel'

Swedish electric carmaker Polestar announces NY listing

The treaty drawn up between the sheets

Cities of the future may be built with algae-grown limestone

NASA CAPSTONE Launches Successfully – Will Test New Lunar Orbit for Artemis Moon Missions

US military's mysterious X-37B space plane zooms toward orbital record

Rocket Lab Launches NASA’s CAPSTONE Mission to the Moon

Strange cloud in satellite data catches interest of scientists

Shuttered full-scale space station mockup finds new use with Axiom Space

Why it'll take NASA's tiny CAPSTONE probe so long to reach the moon

Ovzon needs to piggyback another Ariane 5 ride for late 2022 launch

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News