Major Setback for Topological Computing?

Significant paper in Nature retracted

The news from the Kouwenhoven Lab is not good. What was thought to be a signal of a Majorana current turns out to be less certain. Leo Kouwenhoven (above from his website) is among the best and most well respected in the field of quantum nano science. And he is not easy to fool. So this retraction comes as a surprise and suggests that we all must be diligent.

The story is not over yet!

The Delft team along with those at UCSB, and various other groups around the world continue to make strides toward measuring this illusive signature of quantum weirdness in low dimensional materials. And though this is a setback, it is a little early to herald the demise of the topological approach. These measurements are hard to do, and we are only on the fringe of understanding how they should work anyway. It does make some sense that, for those challenging the frontier like Kouwenhoven, there will be some backtracking. We are fortunate he trains his students well (it was two former members of his team that found the mistake).

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