A team of physicists claims to have discovered a new state of matter - a breakthrough that could vastly improve traditional as well as quantum computing.
The new state, called "topological superconductivity," could help to increase storage capabilities in electronic devices and enhance quantum computing.
Even faster quantum computing
The research, detailed in a paper available on arXiv, was focused on quantum computing - a method that allows for significantly faster calculations than traditional computing.
In quantum computing, data is processed in qubits instead of traditional digital bits in the forms of 0s and 1s. This allows values between 0 and 1 to be tabulated, massively lifting the speed of data processing.
"Our research has succeeded in revealing experimental evidence for a new state of matter—topological superconductivity," Javad Shabani, an assistant professor of physics at New York University, said in a press release.
"This new topological state can be manipulated in ways that could both speed calculation in quantum computing and boost storage."
A new quantum platform
In their research, Igor Zutic of the University of Buffalo, Alex Matos-Abiague of Wayne State University and a team analyzed a quantum state transitioning into a new topological state. They measured the energy barrier between both states.
On top of this, they directly measured signature characteristics of the transition in the order parameter that governs the new topological superconductivity phase.
The inquiry was focused on Majorana particles - which are their own antiparticles - as these have shown promise in storing quantum information in a special computation space that is shielded from environmental noise.
One problem, however, is that there is no natural host for these Majorana particles. The researchers feel their new state of matter might be a step forward:
"The new discovery of topological superconductivity in a two-dimensional platform paves the way for building scalable topological qubits to not only store quantum information, but also to manipulate the quantum states that are free of error," Shabani says.