A Majorana particle is a fermion that is its own anti-particle. Majorana particles were postulated to exist by Ettore Majorana in a now famous paper written in 1937. However, such particles have not been discovered in nature to date. The possible realization of Majorana particles in condensed matter systems has generated much excitement and revived interest in observing these particles, especially because the condensed matter realization may be useful for topological quantum computation. A new paper by Illinois Physics Professor Vidya Madhavan and collaborators recently published in Science shows the first evidence for propagating 1D Majorana modes realized at 1D domain walls in a superconductor FeSexTe1−x.
Condensed Matter Physics
What is Condensed Matter Physics?
Condensed matter physics attempts to understand and manipulate the properties of matter in its solid and liquid forms from fundamental physical principles of quantum and statistical mechanics.
What are we doing in Condensed Matter Physics at Illinois?
The University of Illinois maintains a distinguished tradition of focusing on the collective properties of matter and the emergence of novel and unusual states of matter, such as superconductivity and superfluidity.
Research in these areas has been recognized by numerous major awards, including Nobel Prizes to John Bardeen and Anthony Leggett. However, the university is also distinguished by its strong contributions to the development of technology emanating from condensed matter physics, especially in the area of semiconductor physics.
Today, the condensed matter group is the largest focus area in the department, with vibrant programs in both theory and experimental work. Every area of modern-day condensed matter physics is represented at Illinois, together with numerous cross-disciplinary programs in atomic, molecular and optical physics, materials science, and even biology.