Physics Colloquium of 25 January 2022

"How do we discover Majorana particles in nanowires?"
Sergey Frolov, Univ. of Pittsburgh

Majorana particles are real solutions of the Dirac equation, representing their own antiparticles. In the condensed matter context, Majorana refers to electronic modes in nanostructures described by peculiar 'pulled-apart' wavefunctions and by hypothesized non-Abelian exchange. This last property makes them interesting for quantum computing. I will present our efforts to generate and verify Majorana modes in semiconductor nanowires coupled to superconductors. In particular, how can we tell Majorana signatures apart from similar Andreev states that do not have non-Abelian properties? While we may not have a verified Majorana observation now, I will talk about ways to get there: through careful experiments, improved nanowires and device fabrication and with eyes open for alternative explanations.

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