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October 9 2012

The Mysterious 'Majorana Fermion' --At the Border Between Matter & Antimatter


In 1938 one of the world's greatest scientists withdrew all his money and disappeared during a boat trip from Palermo to Naples. Whether he killed himself, was murdered or lived on under a different identity is still not known. But no trace of The Italian physicist Ettore Majorana has ever been found.

Majorana was a brilliant theorist who in the 1930's showed great insight into physics at a young age. He discovered a hitherto unknown solution to the equations from which quantum scientists deduce elementary particles: the Majorana fermion. Majorana deduced from quantum theory the possibility that there must be a special particle that would be right on the border between matter and antimatter.

Fast forward to February 2012, the mysterious Majorana fermion was detected in a nanowire, according to Dutch nanoscientist Leo Kouwenhoven. The discovery could confirm the theory that assumes that dark matter, which is thought to form about 73 percent of the Universe, is composed of Majorana fermions.

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