New state of matter discovered

Breakthrough offers promise for enhanced storage and computation capabilities.


Physicists at the New York University in collaboration with Igor Zutic at the University of Buffalo and Alex Matos-Abiague at Wayne State University, have recently uncovered excitingly new state of matter- topological superconductivity- that can be controlled in manners that could both speed calculation in quantum computing and boost storage.

As scientists noted, this breakthrough offers promising storage capabilities in electronic devices and enhancing quantum computing.

The work mainly focuses on quantum computing to make calculations significantly faster than conventional computing. Conventional computers process digital bits in the form of 0s and 1s while quantum computers deploy quantum bits (qubits) to tabulate any value between 0 and 1, exponentially lifting the capacity and speed of data processing.

During the study, scientists analyzed a transition of a quantum state from its conventional state to a new topological state, estimating the energy barrier between these states. They enhanced this by legitimately determining the signature characteristics of this transition in the order parameter that administers the new topological superconductivity phase.

They focused on Majorana particles, which are their antiparticles and observed the value in them as being potentially able to store quantum information in a particular computation space where quantum information is protected from the environment noise.

However, no natural host material for these particles called Majorana fermions was detected. Thus, scientists sought to engineer platforms—i.e., new forms of matter—on which these calculations could be conducted.

Javad Shabani, an assistant professor of physics at New York University said, “The discovery of topological superconductivity in a two-dimensional platform paves the way for building scalable topological qubits to not only store quantum information, but also to manipulate the quantum states that are free of error.”

The discovery is reported in a paper on arXiv. The research was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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