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Primeur weekly 2016-12-05

Exascale supercomputing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise demonstrates world's first Memory-Driven Computing architecture ...

Crowd computing

Einstein@home discovers new gamma-ray pulsar ...

Computing tackles the mystery of the dark universe ...

Quantum computing

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified ...

Researchers take first look into the 'eye' of Majoranas ...

More reliable way to produce single photons for quantum information imprinting ...

Focus on Europe

Deadline for ISC research paper submission extended to December 16 ...

PRACE to hold awards ceremony at Cineca for Summer of HPC 2016 ...

An open harbour for research data ...

New MareNostrum4 supercomputer to be 12 times more powerful than MareNostrum3 ...

Hardware

Lincoln Laboratory's supercomputing system ranked most powerful in New England ...

PolyU and Huawei jointly set up the first lab in optical communication and advanced computing system in Hong Kong ...

DDN Infinite Memory Engine burst buffer exceeds 1 TB per second file system performance for Japan's fastest supercomputer ...

Fujitsu develops in-memory deduplication technology to accelerate response for large-scale storage ...

Fujitsu announces start of operations for Japan's fastest supercomputer ...

Applications

Using supercomputers to illuminate the renaissance ...

IBM unveils Watson-powered imaging solutions for health care providers ...

New algorithm could explain human face recognition ...

Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production ...

Physicists spell 'AV' by manipulating Abrikosov vortices ...

BSC researchers to study the response of European climate to Arctic sea ice depletion ...

IBM and Pfizer to accelerate immuno-oncology research with Watson for Drug Discovery ...

Fujitsu offers deep learning platform with world-class speed and AI services that support industries and operations ...

The Cloud

Cloud Systems Management Software Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 ...

Juniper Networks simplifies Cloud transition for enterprises with carrier-grade routing and unified security for AWS marketplace ...

Researchers take first look into the 'eye' of Majoranas


Atomic force microscopy image of the end of a mono-atomic iron wire. The individual iron atoms are clear to see, as well as the "eye" of the Majorana fermions on the end. Credit: University of Basel, Department of Physics.
1 Dec 2016 Basel - Majorana fermions are particles that could potentially be used as information units for a quantum computer. An experiment by physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel has confirmed their theory that Majorana fermions can be generated and measured on a superconductor at the end of wires made from single iron atoms. The researchers also succeeded in making the interior of a Majorana visible for the first time.

Around 75 years ago, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana hypothesized the existence of exotic particles that are their own antiparticles. Since then, interest in these particles, known as Majorana fermions, has grown enormously given that they could play a role in creating a quantum computer. Majoranas have already been described very well in theory. However, examining them and obtaining experimental evidence is difficult because they have to occur in pairs but are then usually bound to form one normal electron. Ingenious combinations and arrangements of various materials are therefore required to generate two Majoranas and keep them apart.

The group led by Professor Ernst Meyer has now used predictions and calculations by theoretical physicists Professor Jelena Klinovaja and Professor Daniel Loss from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel's Department of Physics to experimentally measure states that correspond to Majoranas. On a superconductor, the researchers evaporated single iron atoms with spin that, due to the row structure of the lead atoms, arrange themselves into a minute wire comprising one row of single atoms. The wires reached an astounding length of up to 70 nanometers.

The researchers examined these mono-atomic chains with the aid of scanning tunneling microscopy and, for the first time, with an atomic force microscope as well. Using the images and measurements, they found clear indications of the existence of single Majorana fermions on the ends of the wires under certain conditions and from a specific wire length on.

Despite the distance between them, the two Majoranas on the ends of the wires are still connected. Together, they form a new state extended across the whole wire that can either be occupied ("1") or not occupied ("0") by an electron. This binary property can then serve as the basis for a quantum bit (Qubit) and means that Majoranas, which are also very robust against a number of environmental influences, are promising candidates for creating a future quantum computer.

The researchers from Basel have not only shown that single Majoranas can be generated and measured at the ends of an iron wire, they also performed the first experiment to show that Majoranas are extended quantum objects with an inner structure, as predicted by their theory colleagues. Over an area of several nanometers, the measurements showed the expected wave function with characteristic oscillations and twofold decay lengths, which have now been made visible for the first time.

Rémy Pawlak, Marcin Kisiel, Jelena Klinovaja, Tobias Meier, Shigeki Kawai, Thilo Glatzel, Daniel Loss, and Ernst Meyer are the authors of the paper titled " Probing atomic structure and Majorana wavefunctions in mono-atomic Fe chains on superconducting Pb surface " published innpj Quantum Information(2016), doi: 10.1038/npjqi.2016.35.

Source: University of Basel

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-12-05

Exascale supercomputing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise demonstrates world's first Memory-Driven Computing architecture ...

Crowd computing

Einstein@home discovers new gamma-ray pulsar ...

Computing tackles the mystery of the dark universe ...

Quantum computing

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified ...

Researchers take first look into the 'eye' of Majoranas ...

More reliable way to produce single photons for quantum information imprinting ...

Focus on Europe

Deadline for ISC research paper submission extended to December 16 ...

PRACE to hold awards ceremony at Cineca for Summer of HPC 2016 ...

An open harbour for research data ...

New MareNostrum4 supercomputer to be 12 times more powerful than MareNostrum3 ...

Hardware

Lincoln Laboratory's supercomputing system ranked most powerful in New England ...

PolyU and Huawei jointly set up the first lab in optical communication and advanced computing system in Hong Kong ...

DDN Infinite Memory Engine burst buffer exceeds 1 TB per second file system performance for Japan's fastest supercomputer ...

Fujitsu develops in-memory deduplication technology to accelerate response for large-scale storage ...

Fujitsu announces start of operations for Japan's fastest supercomputer ...

Applications

Using supercomputers to illuminate the renaissance ...

IBM unveils Watson-powered imaging solutions for health care providers ...

New algorithm could explain human face recognition ...

Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production ...

Physicists spell 'AV' by manipulating Abrikosov vortices ...

BSC researchers to study the response of European climate to Arctic sea ice depletion ...

IBM and Pfizer to accelerate immuno-oncology research with Watson for Drug Discovery ...

Fujitsu offers deep learning platform with world-class speed and AI services that support industries and operations ...

The Cloud

Cloud Systems Management Software Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 ...

Juniper Networks simplifies Cloud transition for enterprises with carrier-grade routing and unified security for AWS marketplace ...