New method to detect prize particle for future quantum computing

September 10, 2014, University of Surrey

Quantum computing relies on the laws of quantum mechanics to process vast amounts of information and calculations simultaneously, with far more power than current computers. However, development of quantum computers has been limited as researchers have struggled to find a reliable way to increase the power of these systems, a power measured in Q-Bits.

Previous attempts to find the elusive Majorana particle have been very promising but have not yet provided definitive and conclusive evidence of its existence.

Now, researchers from the University of Surrey and the Ben-Gurion University in Israel believe they have uncovered a key method for detection of the Majorana particle, potentially enabling reliable Q-Bits to be developed. This new research proposes using photons (particles of light) and super-conducting circuits to probe and measure , where it is thought these particles exist at certain controlled conditions. If the particles are present, they will be revealed through a specific pattern with microwave spectroscopy.

Currently the most powerful quantum computer in existence has a power of eight Q-Bits. Once the particle is confirmed, researchers believe it will enable functioning topological Q-Bits to be produced, breaking the barriers on the way to scaling up quantum computation to many Q-Bits.

"We know what we are looking for, we just haven't found it yet - it's the ultimate physics treasure hunt! We are confident that the method we are proposing will bring us closer to unlocking the untapped potential of in areas such as code breaking, complicated mathematical problem-solving and scientific simulation of advanced materials" said lead-author Dr Eran Ginossar, the University of Surrey.

The new method has attracted the interest of leading experimental groups and it is hoped that the new will be trialled within the next year.

Quantum computing is one pillar of quantum technology, an area where the UK is posed to make a large investment. Last year the government announced funding of £270million for the development and application of this technology.

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Urgelt
5 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2014
They're looking for Majorana Bound States, neutral quasiparticles akin to electron holes, not actually particles but behaving as if they were particles. The 'Majorana' name comes into it because this theoretical quasiparticle has Majorana characteristics (as opposed to Dirac characteristics), not because it's an actual particle.

Actual Majorana particles are also theorized. These researchers aren't looking for those.

The Majorana Bound State quasiparticle was first allegedly observed in 2012. Nobody has claimed to observe an actual Majorana particle of any kind whatsoever.

I don't think it helps lay readers follow the science when 'Majorana Bound State quasiparticles' are called 'Majorana particles.'

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