University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Charles Reynolds Distinguished Lecture

Friday, October 3, 2014
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Room PB-36

Professor Sankar Das Sarma, Director of the Condensed Matter Theory Center, University of Maryland

“Has (the) Majorana Really Returned?

Ettore Majorana wrote an important paper in 1937 introducing the concept of Majorana fermions which are their own anti-particles. (Neutrinos may or may not be Majorana ermions—experiments are ongoing looking for double beta decay to settle this question decisively.) Then Majorana himself mysteriously vanished in 1938 and was never seen again. Recent work in condensed matter physics indicates that there may be a very exotic manifestation of Majorana particles in ordinary condensed matter systems made of semiconductors and superconductors. Thus, Majorana’s hypothetical particles may have finally been found in solid state systems 75 years after their prediction. In my talk I will explain the meaning of the question posed in the title and provide an answer for the question through a critical theoretical analyses of the recent experiments searching for the non-Abelian Majorana mode in condensed matter systems. I will also describe the significance of the question/answer discussed in this talk in the context of topological quantum computation which is fault-tolerant as a matter of principle and does not require any quantum error correction. The solid state realizations of the Majorana ‘particles’ to be described in this talk are not Dirac fermions obeying Fermi statistics, but are instead strange localized objects obeying non-Abelian anyonic braiding statistics.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk at 3:30 p.m. in the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room P-103

Contact:

Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916, dawn.rawlinson@uconn.edu

Physics Department (primary)

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