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Majorana Fermions in cold atom systems

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 1:30pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA X317

Speaker Name(s): 

Dr. Christina Kraus

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Institut fur Theoretische Physik, Universitat Innsbruck
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • JILA Public Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

A striking consequence of topological order is the existence of robust zero-energy modes localized at defects and edges of topological phases. One prominent example are zero-energy Majorana fermions that were originally introduced as pure real solutions of the Dirac equation. Nowadays, they are not only discussed in the context of high energy and condensed matter physics, but it is also believed that they serve, due to their anyonic statistics, as building blocks for topological quantum computing devices.

While  most of the proposals for realizing and detecting Majorana fermions have been related to solid state systems, I will discuss possibilities to explore Majorana physics  in cold atom systems. We will discuss possibilities to create and detect Majorana fermions in the Kitaev quantum wire and probe their anyonic nature via braiding. Further, I will explain a complementary approach to  realize Majorana fermions in a cold atom setup with a fixed particle number via a specially engineered interaction. This approach is of fundamental interest for understanding the emergence of topological order.