New particle matter and antimatter in one bottle




Since the 1930s, scientists have searched for the particle, which simultaneously would represent matter and antimatter. Recently, physicists have found strong evidence for the existence of such a particle inside a superconducting material. This finding may be a first so-called Majorana particles and will help researchers to encode information for quantum computers.

Physicists believe that each material particle is the opposite in the form of anti-matter with the same mass but opposite charge. When matter meets antimatter, they annihilate, ie destroy each other. However, some particles may be their own antimatter, as suggested in 1937 by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana. For the first time since scientists started talking about how they have found one of these particles, as reported in Science and 3 October.

New Majorana particle was discovered inside the superconductor, a material in which the free movement of electrons allows electricity to flow without resistance. A research team led by Ali Yazdani at Princeton University has put a long chain of iron atoms (which are magnetic) on top of the superconductor lead. In the normal state magnetism violates the principle of the superconductors, because the lack of magnetic fields allows electrons to flow freely. But in this case, the magnetic circuit is transformed into a special type of superconductor, in which neighboring electrons in a circuit coordinated their backs to simultaneously satisfy the requirements of magnetism and superconductivity. Each of such pairs can be regarded as anti-electron electron and a positive and negative charge respectively. This arrangement, however, leaves one electron at each end of the chain, the adjacent pair, forcing them to take the properties of both the electron and antielectron – in other words, Majorana particles.

Unlike particles, which are found in a vacuum, unrelated to the other matter, these Majorana particles are called “emerging particles.” They stem from the collective properties of the surrounding material, and can not exist outside the superconductor.

New research shows strong signatures of Majorana particles, says Leo Kouwenhoven of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the study, but previously found traces of Majorana particles in another superconductor.

“But to speak convincingly about the full proof, I think, need to do a DNA test – he has in mind that such a test should show that the particles do not obey the usual laws of the two known classes of particles – fermions (protons, electrons, and other familiar particles ) and bosons (photons and other vectors of force, including the Higgs boson). – What do we know about the “marjoram” is the fact that they are a new class of particles. And if you find a new class of particles, you simply add a new chapter in physics. ”

Jason Eliseo physicist at the California Institute of Technology, also did not participate in the study, said the study provides “strong evidence” of Majorana particles, but “we have to keep in mind the possible alternative explanations – even if they are not obvious.” Plus the fact that the installation for the production of the elusive Majorana particles was quite simple. This means that scientists in the very near future will be able to confirm or refute the finding.

Opening Majorana particles can have serious consequences for the search for such particles outside the superconductor materials. Many physicists suspect that neutrinos – the lightest particles, strange way to change its essence or flavor – also are Majorana particles, and further experiments will shed light on this conjecture. Now that we know that Majorana particles can exist in superconductors, no surprise find and beyond. Once the general concept is confirmed, it is likely to confirm and another example.

This finding may also be useful for building quantum computers that use the laws of quantum mechanics and promise to speed up the computation times, bypassing traditional computers. One of the key issues in building a quantum computer – is the transfer of the quantum properties like entanglement, which will lead to a collapse in the case of outside interference. Majorana particles at each of the chain ends will be immune to such a risk, since it can lead to the destruction of any of the encoded information. On the basis of Majorana particles can build a quantum bit (qubit or), which will be much more reliable than all produced so far.


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