Majorana Zero Modes

Context: Researchers at Microsoft announced that they had figured out a way to create a strange kind of particle called Majorana zero modes, that could potentially revolutionise quantum computing. About Majorana Zero Mode:
  • Majorana zero mode is a unique particle or bound state that belongs to the class of Majorana fermions.
  • It was first proposed by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana in 1937. 
  • Distinct characteristics: Majorana zero modes are bound states of particles that are their own antiparticles (counterpart particle with opposite quantum properties such as charge).
  • This distinguishes Majorana zero modes from other particles in the quantum realm.
Application of Majorana Zero Mode:
  • Enhanced Stability:
    • It provides increased stability for qubits, the fundamental units of information in quantum computing.
    • Qubits: Just like bits (1 and 0) are the basic units by which computers process information, ‘qubits’ or ‘quantum bits’ are the units of process by quantum computers.
      • A quantum computer stores information in the form of quantum bits (qubits) that can take on various combinations of zero and one.
    • Even if one entity within the bound state is disturbed, the overall qubit remains protected and retains encoded information.
  • Topological Quantum Computing:
    • Majorana zero modes enable topological quantum computing, utilizing non-Abelian statistics.
    • Non-Abelian statistics introduce an additional degree of freedom, allowing for different outcomes based on the order of computational steps.
    •  It provides enhanced stability for qubits in quantum computing.
Antiparticle
  • It is a subatomic particle having the same mass as a given particle but having an opposite electric or magnetic property.
 Fermion
  • All subatomic particles that make up matter are called fermions.
  • The Dirac equation predicted the existence of an antiparticle for each particle, such that if the two meet, they annihilate each other.
  • Fermions which have their own antiparticles are called Majorana fermions.
 News Source: The Hindu

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