Which is the most difficult to find? The majorana particle or Majorana himself?
What is so mysterious about Majorana himself?
The Italian physicist Ettore Majorana was a brilliant theorist who showed great insight into physics at a young age. He discovered a hitherto unknown solution to the equations from which quantum scientists deduce elementary particles: the Majorana fermion. Practically all theoretic particles that are predicted by quantum theory have been found in the last decades, with just a few exceptions, including the enigmatic Majorana particle and the well-known Higgs boson. But Ettore Majorana the person is every bit as mysterious as the particle. In 1938 he withdrew all his money and disappeared during a boat trip from Palermo to Naples. Whether he killed himself, was murdered or lived on under a different identity is still not known. No trace of Majorana was ever found. (ScienceDaily)
Now you see him, now you don’t, just like his particle.
Unless you are an absolute mathematical genius, which is not remotely the status of the author of this entry, you won’t understand the following Wikipedia extract. But it is not necessary to understand the mathematics to understand the topic. Galileo understood that we live in a mathematical universe and he acknowledged that it is mathematical because its Creator is rational and real. For a physical universe such as ours to exist in the midst of Eternity something along the lines of the majorana particle is inevitable.
Extracted from Wikipedia:
A Majorana fermion is a fermion that is its own anti-particle. The term is sometimes used in opposition to Dirac fermion, which describes particles that differ from their antiparticles.
The concept goes back to Ettore Majorana’s 1937 suggestion that neutral spin-1/2 particles can be described by a real wave equation (the Majorana equation), and would therefore be identical to their antiparticle (since the wave function of particle and antiparticle are related by complex conjugation).
Why are these subatomic or quantum particles so elusive? Because they are specific quantities of vibrancy which are designed to mesh together in such a way as to form solid matter. Of themselves they are not solid matter even though they may have a tiny amount of mass.
A ‘particle’ which is its own anti-particle and therefore is strictly neither matter nor anti-matter just might have some bearing on the hypothetical substance called dark matter. The latest off the presses is that the particle has been detected. This is a remarkable achievement given that some of these quanta spend the time of day deliberately avoiding being detected!
Nanoscientist Leo Kouwenhoven already caused great excitement among scientists in February by presenting the preliminary results at a scientific congress. Today, the scientists have published their research in Science. The research was financed by the FOM Foundation and Microsoft.
Majorana fermions are very interesting — not only because their discovery opens up a new and uncharted chapter of fundamental physics; they may also play a role in cosmology. A proposed theory assumes that the mysterious ‘dark matter’, which forms the greatest part of the universe, is composed of Majorana fermions. Furthermore, scientists view the particles as fundamental building blocks for the quantum computer. Such a computer is far more powerful than the best supercomputer, but only exists in theory so far. Contrary to an ‘ordinary’ quantum computer, a quantum computer based on Majorana fermions is exceptionally stable and barely sensitive to external influences.
For the first time, scientists in Leo Kouwenhoven’s research group managed to create a nanoscale electronic device in which a pair of Majorana fermions ‘appear’ at either end of a nanowire. They did this by combining an extremely small nanowire, made by colleagues from Eindhoven University of Technology, with a superconducting material and a strong magnetic field. “The measurements of the particle at the ends of the nanowire cannot otherwise be explained than through the presence of a pair of Majorana fermions,” says Leo Kouwenhoven. (ScienceDaily)
The universe is a mathematical expression, and what an expression!
So, can the elusive particle deduced by the elusive Majorana, tell us anything about dark matter?
It is mathematical, nevertheless it is real — it is a particle. The same can be said of other particles smaller than the atom – ‘quanta’. Many of these quanta (light excluded) have mass – although they are concurrently a waveform. They are designed so that under the appropriate conditions they mesh together to form atoms. Herein lies perhaps the most puzzling conundrum of modern Physics.
Gravity, as we know, acts upon all objects without exception in proportion to their mass. But, ‘objects’, seemingly, does not refer to subatomic quanta. Subatomic quanta, such as electrons, protons, majorana particles, etc, are not dragged upon and slowed by gravity, as are larger objects. Until we graduate to something of the size and nature of the atom, gravity does not have its full everyday effect. If gravity was constantly dragging upon and slowing electrons, the electrons would eventually cease orbiting the nucleus and matter would collapse. The earth spins around the sun in a vacuum – yet it is imperceptibly slowing due to the interactive pull of the other planets and the tidal interaction with the sun. Quanta such as electrons are often in close proximity to each other in great numbers, so, if gravitational effects such as those influencing the planets were fully operational, the quanta would eventually slow and fall in a heap. The universe could not go on.
It may be deduced, that gravity is somehow defined by matter. It will exert force upon a group of atoms: will it exert force in the same sense upon the components of those atoms if the atoms are dismembered into certain types of quanta?
Is it actually ‘dark matter’ that the cosmologists are searching for, or is it ‘dark gravity’ — a force that varies according to the configuration of the components of the matter?
We need not expect to see dark matter advertised on supermarket shelves any time soon.