Newly discovered state of matter may give devices exponentially more storage

16 Aug 2019

Image: © Maksym Yemelyanov/

Scientists are heralding the discovery of a new state of matter that could significantly boost the storage abilities of devices and quantum computing.

A team of researchers from New York University has announced a rather significant discovery: a new state of matter. In a paper published on arXiv, the team said it has succeeded in revealing experimental evidence for the existence of something called ‘topological superconductivity’.

This discovery, it said, could both speed up the calculation process of quantum computing and significantly boost storage capacity of electronic devices such as smartphones.

Research was focused on boosting quantum computing, a method that is exponentially faster than conventional computing that process digital bits in the form of zeros and ones. By comparison, quantum computers deploy quantum bits (qubits) that can be one, zero or both at the same time, giving it significantly more processing power.

As part of this study, the team analysed a transition of quantum state from its conventional state to a new topological state, measuring the energy barrier between these states. Here, they focused the inquiry on Majorana particles. Existing as their own antiparticles, such substances have the same mass but with the opposite physical charge.

These particles are considered important by scientists because of their potential for storing quantum information in a unique space where quantum information would be insulated from any environmental noise. However, the problem is that there are no natural host materials for these particles, known as Majorana fermions.

Now, with the discovery of topological superconductivity, researchers are able to test out these calculations for future quantum computing platforms.

“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,” said Javad Shabani of the research team.

Last month, researchers from Iowa State University announced the development of a “control knob” to accelerate supercurrents that could lead to the development of incredibly fast quantum computers.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic