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Majorana fermions



Majorana fermions are a type of fermion that would be its own antiparticle. These curious particles could be useful in creating a quantum computer, and recent evidence has suggested that we might be close to creating Majorana fermions in the laboratory.

The particles are named after Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, who first proposed the existence of these types of particles in 1937, shortly before a mysterious disappearance (at only age 31 ... although I'm not sure if there's an appropriate age to mysteriously disappear).

A group of Danish researchers believe they saw these particles in the lab in April 2012 and then, in August 2012, physicists at Stanford found results that may actually indicate they've discovered these particles while working with a topological insulator placed next to an ordinary superconductor. These results are not, at the time of this writing, considered conclusive.

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