Physics Colloquium: Jay Deep Sau, "Search for Non-Abelian Majorana particles as a route to topological quantum computation"

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM

Where                         Please contact Prof. Ganeshan for link to Zoom meeting
Contact Name                         Sriram Ganeshan
Contact Email               

Physics Colloquium

Search for Non-Abelian Majorana particles as a route to topological quantum computation

Jay Deep Sau

Associate Professor,
Department of Physics, Joint Quantum Institute and Condensed Matter Theory Center,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD USA


Majorana zero modes are fermion-like excitations that were originally proposed in particle physics by Ettore Majorana and are characterized as being their own anti-particle. In condensed matter systems, Majorana zero modes occur as fractionalized excitations with an associated topologically protected degeneracy. For over a decade the only candidate systems for observing Majorana zero modes were the non-Abelian fractional quantum Hall state and chiral p-wave superconductors. In this talk, I will discuss a set of proposals for realizing Majorana zero modes in a large class of spin-orbit coupled, time-reversal symmetry broken superconducting systems. The simplicity of this class of systems has resulted in several experimental attempts, which have successfully observed preliminary evidence for the Majorana zero modes in the form of zero-bias conductance peaks and the fractional Josephson effect. Following this I will review recent experimental progress on spin-orbit coupled superconductors. I will end by describing what a topological quantum computer based on Majorana modes might look like in the future.


Jay Sau received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2008. He is a theoretical condensed matter physicist with a broad interest in many particle physics relevant to experiments. At present, he is predominantly interested in applying topological principles to create protected solid-state and cold-atomic systems for quantum information processing.