Anniversary talk: Leo Kouwenhoven – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Anniversary talk: Leo Kouwenhoven

Title: Particle physics on a chip; The search for Majorana Fermions

Predicted in 1937 but never detected, particles that are equal to their own antiparticles. Could neutrinos be Majorana Fermions? What about dark matter? I don’t know, but now Majoranas have also been predicted to exist in specially designed nanoscale devices.

So instead of detecting new particles at higher and higher energies, one can alternatively design more and more carefully quantum states in condensed matter in which the low-energy (quasi)-particles obey certain symmetries. We will outline and present experiments geared towards demonstrating Majoranas based on superconductors and semiconductor nanowires.

Signatures of Majorana fermions in hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanowire devices, V. Mourik, K. Zuo, S.M. Frolov, S.R. Plissatd, E.P.A.M. Bakkers and L.P. Kouwenhoven, Science (April 12, 2012)