Majorana fermions in condensed-matter physics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is an honor and a pleasure to have been invited to give a talk in this conference celebrating the memory of the late Professor Abdus Salam. To my regret, I did not know Professor Salam personally, but I am very aware of his work and of his impact on my area of specialization, condensed matter physics, both intellectually through his ideas on spontaneously broken symmetry and more practically through his foundation of the ICTP. Since I assume that most of this audience are not specialized in condensed-matter physics, I thought I would talk about one topic which to some extent bridges this field and the particle-physics interests of Salam, namely Majorana fermions (M.F.s). However, as we shall see, the parallels which are often drawn in the current literature may be a bit too simplistic. I will devote most of this talk to a stripped-down exposition of the current orthodoxy concerning M.F.s. in condensed-matter physics and their possible applications to topological quantum computing (TQC), and then at the end briefly indicate why I believe this orthodoxy may be seriously misleading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMemorial Volume On Abdus Salam’s 90th Birthday
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789813144873
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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