Topological Superconductivity Holds Promise for Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computing

A team of physicists from New York University, Wayne State University and the University at Buffalo has found experimental evidence for a transition between trivial and topological superconductivity in a quantum mechanical device called a Josephson junction. This breakthrough offers promise for increasing storage capabilities in electronic devices and enhancing quantum computing.

Mayer et al show experimentally in Josephson junctions a transition between trivial and topological superconductivity. Image credit: GamOl.

Mayer et al show experimentally in Josephson junctions a transition between trivial and topological superconductivity. Image credit: GamOl.

“This new topological state can be manipulated in ways that could both speed calculation in quantum computing and boost storage,” said Dr. Javad Shabani, a physicist at New York University.

“Our work centers on quantum computing — a method that can make calculations at significantly faster rates than can conventional computing.”

“This is because conventional computers process digital bits in the form of 0s and 1s while quantum computers deploy qubits to tabulate any value between 0 and 1, exponentially lifting the capacity and speed of data processing.”

In the research, Dr. Shabani and colleagues analyzed a topological phase transition, measuring the energy barrier between the two states.

They supplemented this by directly measuring signature characteristics of this transition in the order parameter that governs the new topological superconductivity phase.

“Here, we focused the inquiry on Majorana fermions,” the researchers explained.

“We see value in these particles because of their potential to store quantum information in a special computation space where quantum information is protected from the environment noise.”

“As a result, we have sought to engineer platforms on which these calculations could be conducted.”

“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,” Dr. Shabani said.

The team’s work was published on arXiv.org.

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William Mayer et al. 2019. Phase signature of topological transition in Josephson Junctions. arXiv: 1906.01179

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