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Majorana particles are rare birds in physics. Unlike other fermionic particles, they are their own antiparticles. In low-dimensional systems, they are also expected to emerge as zero-energy quasiparticles called Majorana zero modes, which have an unusual property: swapping two such particles changes their joint quantum state in a manner that depends on the order in which the swapping is done. This property could be exploited to build the elementary units of a fault-tolerant, topological quantum computer. Pablo San-Jose from the Materials Science Institute (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain, and co-workers have now put forward a proposal for observing these quasiparticles in graphene—the one-atom-thick form of carbon renowned for its high electrical conductivity.

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