First observation of particles that are their own antiparticles could be on its way: The device proposed by Onoda and his colleagues offers deliberate control over Majorana particles within a topological insulator that they hope will make them accessible to experiments. Their device consists of a surface of a superconducting topological insulator attached to two magnetic sections. The magnetic fields of the two magnets point in opposite directions. The researchers predict that, along the interface between the magnets, a periodic chain of magnetic field lines form in the superconducting topological insulator. Each of these magnetic field lines could accommodate a Majorana particle.
Once their existence is proved, Majorana particles could also enable extremely stable new forms of computing based on quantum physics, says Onoda.