Home on the Range: University of Wyoming Takes a Whack at Majorana Particles

Two UW Faculty Members Receive DOE Grants to Research Alloys, Quantum Computer Materials

Key points…

+  Dilpuneet Singh Aidhy is studying high entropy alloys that are potential materials for large structural applications, while Jifa Tian is researching a solution to create materials and understand the fundamental physics for future quantum computers that can process problems classic computers cannot.

“Majorana particle, the only particle that is its own antiparticle, is one of the most compelling quests in condensed matter physics because of its potential for creating qubits to build future quantum computers,” Tian explains. “In this project, we are looking to realize and manipulate such Majorana particles in a simple materials system, 2M tungsten disulfide (WS2), at the atomic scale. Here, 2M stands for a monoclinic structure with two layers per unit cell.”

+  Tian, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, says that, in classical computers, information is processed based on two resistance states called “0” and “1” states. However, a quantum computer uses quantum bits, or qubits, to encode information as “0, “1” or a coherent superposition of both. This enables quantum computers to process enormous combinations of states at the same time and in a much shorter timeframe.

+  Tian’s grant totals $750,000 over three years and includes funding for four graduate students and, potentially, some undergraduate students. + Tian says the research will help UW build strong partnerships with Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories; and develop competitive capabilities in the field of topological superconductivity in condensed matters.

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