About 80 years ago, a hypothesis was made about elusive particle, Majorana Fermion, the particle which was thought to possess both the particles, matter and antimatter. However, researchers from Princeton University discovered this particle and called it as “emergent particle”.
In 1930s a scientist, Ettore Majorana, gave a model of this Majorana fermion, and put forward a prediction that there are particles which might be their own antimatter partners. However, this eminent Italian Physicist could only speculate the theory of the concept, and researchers from the university pragmatically realized this proposition.
Antimatter is identical to physical matter except that it is composed of particles whose electric charges are anomalous to those found in normal matter. It is highly unstable and due to its very tough and hard properties, it’s very difficult to be determined.
Researchers of the university set an arrangement to study the assumption. For this they settled an atom thick and three atoms wide iron string over an ultra pure lead crystal which acts as a superconductor. The temperature of the set up was decreased significantly, even lower than that of absolute zero temperature i.e. -273 degree Celsius. This was then scrutinized with a help of two-stories scanning tunneled microscope.
“This is the most direct way of looking for the Majorana fermion since it is expected to emerge at the edge of certain materials”, Princeton Physics professor and the leader of research, Ali Yazdani said.
Typically magnetism disrupts superconductors. Conductivity requires continuous flow of electrons. However, the magnetism produced cause disruption in the phenomena. Yet, in this instance different impact was studied. During the experiment, the magnetic chain of iron turned the superconductor into a special type of condition which produced electrons and anti electrons, which simultaneously satisfied the requirements of superconductivity and magnetism. Each neighboring iron atoms composed of opposite electrons. It was at the ends, that lone electron was residing, which possessed the property of both electrons and anti-electrons, making the particle to be Majorana particle.
This discovery is breakthrough in various fields in Science and Technology. The main application can be observed in Quantum mechanics, especially computing. In quantum computing, electrons are coaxed into representing both the zeroes and ones of conventional computers. This can make calculations very easy. The discovery was praised by other scientists as well who were not involved in the process. This report was published in the Science journal.