Researchers from University of California, Santa Barbara, have developed a device that could prove the existence of non-Abelian anyons.
The researchers used graphene, an atomically thin material derived from graphite, to develop "an extremely low-defect, highly tunable device in which non-Abelian anyons should be much more accessible," said a news release published on the university website.
These anyons are a type of quasiparticle that occur only in two-dimensional systems, with properties much less restricted than those of fermions and bosons.
are particle-like excitations that elude the familiar classification into bosons and fermions.
The electrons on the flat surface form a disorganized liquid sea of electrons, and if some extra electrons are then added, strange quasi-particles called anyons emerge.
Anyons have a strange property that may make them the key to topological quantum computation.
Imagine several anyons on a surface, and suppose they move around along complicated paths, ending up where they started.
When these particles are interchanged, their joint quantum mechanical wave function is predicted to pick up any phase in between 0 (as for bosons) and pi (as for fermions), hence the name anyons.
Even more intriguing is the class of non-Abelian anyons where interchange of particles completely changes the ground state of the system.
It is the objective of this proposal to experimentally realize a platform to detect and trol non-Abelian anyons.