A miniature wire for a Majorana discovery


Measuring currents in a tiny wire reveals the presence of mysterious quasiparticle.


This is a device that physicists used to spot the clearest signal yet of Majorana particles. The gray wire in the middle is the nanowire, and the green area is a strip of superconducting aluminum.
This is a device that physicists used to spot the clearest signal yet of Majorana particles. The gray wire in the middle is the nanowire, and the green area is a strip of superconducting aluminum.
Hao Zhang/QuTech

The image above shows a tiny device that was used in recent experiments that found evidence of so-called Majorana quasiparticles: coordinated patterns of atoms and electrons in particular superconductors that behave as if they are particles in their own right.

In the experiments, researchers measured electric current passing through a nanowire (the grey strip in the centre of the picture) connected to a strip of superconducting aluminium (shown in green). When the apparatus is placed in a strong magnetic field, measurements of the current indicate that Majorana quasiparticles are present.

The research is published in Nature.

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature26142
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature26142
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