# Strange particle that holds the key to ‘quantum supercomputers’

- July 11, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics

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**Strange particle that holds the key to ‘quantum supercomputers’**

**Subject : Science and technology**

**Section: Awareness in IT**

**Concept **:

- Microsoft researchers have made significant strides in the creation of
**Majorana zero modes**, a type of particle that could revolutionize quantum computing. **Majorana zero modes**, which are**their own antiparticles**, possess**unique properties**that**could make quantum computers more robust**and**computationally superior.**

**Majorana Fermions: A conceptual backgrounder**

**Fermions and Antipart**icles: All subatomic particles that constitute matter are known as fermions, with each fermion having an associated antiparticle that annihilates upon interaction.**Majorana Fermions**: In 1937, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana discovered that certain particles, known as Majorana fermions, can satisfy specific conditions and be their own antiparticles.**Neutrinos as Potential Majorana Fermions**: Neutrinos are one type of subatomic particle that scientists speculate may exhibit Majorana fermion behavior, although experimental confirmation is still pending.

**Understanding Majorana Zero Modes**

**Quantum Numbers and Spin**: All particles have four quantum numbers, with one called the quantum spin having half-integer values for fermions. This property allows any fermion, even a large entity like an atom, to be classified as a fermion.**Bound States and Fermions**: Bound states composed of two particles can also be classified as fermions if their total quantum spin possesses a half-integer value.**Majorana Zero Modes**: When these bound states are their own antiparticles and do not readily de-cohere, they are known as Majorana zero modes, which have been sought after by physicists for many years.

**Explanation**

- In the world of physics, particles can have interesting properties and behave in strange ways. One type of particle that scientists have been studying is called a Majorana particle.
**Majorana particles**have a special property called “**non-Abelian statistics**.”- This property means that when
**two Majorana particles come close together, something interesting happens**. **Instead of behaving like normal particles, they can combine in a special way**to form a new kind of particle called a**Majorana zero mode.**- A Majorana zero mode is a very
**peculiar particle because it is its own antiparticle.**Normally, particles have antiparticles with opposite properties, like an electron and a positron. But Majorana zero modes are special because they don’t have separate antiparticles.**They are their own antiparticles**. - Potential Benefits for Computing
- Enhanced Stability: Majorana zero modes offer increased stability for qubits, the fundamental units of information in quantum computing. Even if one entity within the bound state is disturbed, the qubit as a whole can remain protected and retain encoded information.
- Topological Quantum Computing: Majorana zero modes can enable topological quantum computing, which takes advantage of non-Abelian statistics. These statistics introduce an additional degree of freedom, allowing algorithms to produce different outcomes based on the order in which steps are performed.

**Potential Benefits for Computing**

**Enhanced Stability**: Majorana zero modes offer increased stability for qubits, the fundamental units of information in quantum computing. Even if one entity within the bound state is disturbed, the qubit as a whole can remain protected and retain encoded information.**Topological Quantum Computing**: Majorana zero modes can enable topological quantum computing, which takes advantage of non-Abelian statistics. These statistics introduce an additional degree of freedom, allowing algorithms to produce different outcomes based on the order in which steps are performed.

**Challenges and Future Prospects**

**Creating Majorana Zero Modes**: Scientists have been exploring various setups, such as topological superconductors, to generate Majorana zero modes. However, confirming their existence remains a challenge, as their effects on surrounding materials must be inferred indirectly.**Recent Advances by Microsoft Researchers**: Microsoft researchers recently engineered a topological superconductor using an aluminium superconductor and an indium arsenide semiconductor. Their device passed a stringent protocol, suggesting a high probability of hosting Majorana zero modes.