Dutch physicists rock scientific world

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Physicists at Delft University of Technology have detected an elementary particle which has been the subject of extensive speculation since 1937 and could help develop future supercomputers.

Known as Majorana fermions, the particles were detected by physics professor Leo Kouwenhoven and his team during an experiment involving a special chip featuring super-conducting nanowires.

Majorana fermions had not been detected in earlier experiments performed in particle accelerators. The results from Delft can only be explained by the presence of Majorana particles.

The particles are named after Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, who first discovered them in 1937. These latest findings have sparked intense debate among physicists around the globe.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide