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Material could demonstrate existence of a type of particle proposed 70 years ago.

A new kind of superconductor can’t make up its mind about how to conduct electricity. Current passes through its interior without any resistance, as in a typical superconductor. But its skin behaves like a metal, conducting electricity but with some resistance.

This split personality, described in an upcoming Physical Review Letters, could be the handiwork of something strange hiding on the surface — a two-dimensional entity behaving like a Majorana fermion. First proposed more than 70 years ago, a Majorana fermion is a theoretical type of particle that is its own antiparticle. Electrons and quarks and other particles of matter all have twin antimatter partners.

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