HIGHLIGHTS OF 2020

From anyons to Majoranas

Anyons, particles that are neither bosons nor fermions, were predicted in the 1980s, but strong experimental evidence for the existence of the simplest type of anyons has only emerged this year. Further theoretical and experimental advances promise to nail the existence of more exotic types of anyons, such as Majorana fermions, which would make topological quantum computation possible.

Key advances

  • Beam-splitter and interferometric measurements in the quantum Hall regime provide the strongest experimental proof to date of exotic anyonic particles.

  • Individual states inside superconducting vortices, called Caroli–de Gennes–Matricon states, have been experimentally observed in low-density topological superconductors.

  • Access to the Caroli–de Gennes–Matricon states provides a new platform in which anyonic particles may be braided and detected in three dimensional topological superconductors.

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Fig. 1: Comparison of states localized inside a vortex.

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Correspondence to James R. Williams.

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Sau, J., Simon, S., Vishveshwara, S. et al. From anyons to Majoranas. Nat Rev Phys 2, 667–668 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-020-00251-9

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