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A research team at Penn State, partnering with the University of Würzburg in Germany, has flagged a 2017 discovery of Majorana fermion as a false alarm.
An exotic quantum state known as a “chiral Majorana fermion” is predicted in devices wherein a superconductor is affixed on top of a quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) insulator (left panel). Experiments performed at Penn State and the University of Würzburg show that the millimeter-size superconductor strip used in the proposed device geometry creates an electrical short, preventing the detection of chiral Majoranas (right panel). Courtesy of Cui-Zu Chang, Penn State.
Majorana fermions are enigmatic particles that act as their own antiparticle and were first…