O.M. Stewart Colloquium Series: The Majorana Mysteries

Monday, November 6, 2017 4:00pm

Physics Library, Room 223A, Physics Building


The O.M. Stewart Colloquium Series presents, "The Majorana Mysteries," by Prof. Gerardo Ortiz, Indiana University, Monday, Nov. 6, at 4:00 p.m. in Room 223A, Physics Building Library. Refreshments will be served beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Prof. Gerardo Ortiz, Indiana University

Ortiz writes, "On March 25th, 1938 at the age of 32 years Ettore Majorana vanished, under mysterious circumstances, without leaving a trace. Only recently his name re-emerged as the Majorana fermion, a quasi-particle excitation that represents its own anti-quasi-particle, has been claimed to be detected by several experimental groups. Majorana fermions dance in a superfluid background. They have the potential to make quantum computers robust because of the special topological property of non-Abelian braiding, generated whenever Majorana fermions are transported around each other. But, what property distinguishes topologically trivial from non-trivial superfluids, supposedly hosting Majorana fermions? What is the meaning and fate of such excitations in closed, number conserving, interacting fermionic superfluids? I will attempt to answer these questions from both basic physics principles and concrete model perspectives. In particular, I will discuss a novel route to topological superfluidity realizable in repulsive ultracold alkaline-earth atomic systems, and will propose several novel experimental probes to unveil the topological superfluid state."