Strongest evidence yet of the existence of abelian anyons

The strongest case to date for the existence of quasiparticles.

Anyons, classified as quasiparticles that exist in two dimensions, with properties much less restricted than fermions and bosons. They can have some quantum numbers of fractional values with respect to other elementary particles, such as an electron.

Anyons can be observed when they appear as disturbances in two-dimensional sheets of materials.

According to some theories, anyons braid far uniquely than bosons or fermions.

If a fermion or a boson were dragged around another of its kind, the theory suggests, the action would not produce a record of what had occurred. But because anyons alter wave functions, they would create such a record. The process involves inserting a phase into the wave function of the particles. In this new effort, the researchers created a device that allowed them to see evidence of such a record.

A team of scientists from Purdue University has offered the strongest evidence yet of the existence of abelian anyons.

Scientists have developed a device that involved moving anyons along a 2-D path; at a given point, the pathway split. One of the paths looped around another anyon, which was situated in the center of the device. The other took a direct route before the two paths were reunited.

Scientists then estimated the electric current in the device looking for jumps. Such jumps demonstrate if anyons were added and then removed from the device, altering the phase.

The device composed of layers of materials that filter random noise hence can detect and record jumps.

The resulting measurements make the strongest case to date for the existence of quasiparticles, and in so doing, have firmly bolstered theories that describe both their existence and their behavior. They have also likely brightened the hopes of some researchers who have been looking into the possibility of using anyons to create more robust quantum computers.

Journal Reference:
  1. Nakamura et al., Direct observation of anyonic braiding statistics at the ν=1/3 fractional quantum Hall state, arXiv:2006.14115 [cond-mat.mes-hall]. arxiv:2006.14115

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