Scientists discover first evidence of a particle that is its own antiparticle, according to a new study published in July 2017.
A group of scientists from Stanford and the University of California revealed evidence of a particle that is its own antiparticle, calling it angel particle. This is exception to the scientifically known rule that when a particle meet its antiparticle, the two annihilate each other in a flash of energy.
To find Majorana fermions, it is important to look for quasiparticles, which arise out of the collective behavior of electrons and have certain properties of particles. These quasiparticles will most likely not occur outside very specific conditions, however, they can be considered to be Majorana fermions if the same properties are exhibited by them.
“Our team predicted exactly where to find the Majorana fermion and what to look for as its ‘smoking gun’ experimental signature. This discovery concludes one of the most intensive searches in fundamental physics, which spanned exactly 80 years.” said Shoucheng Zhang, senior authors of the study.
The team carefully constructed a specific drink using thin films of two quantum materials, which resulted in a superconducting topological insulator. This allows electrons to move quickly along the edges of the material’s surface and not through the middle. The electrons flow in one direction when a pinch of magnetic material is added to the mix.
They reversed in a staggered motion and quasiparticles were found to have emerged from the material in pairs, traveling along the same path as the electrons. The properties shown by this particle proved the evidence the team was looking for.