Wed, Mar 13, 2013, 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm
The exploration of topological phases of matter is one of the main challenges in condensed matter physics. Among the exciting recent developments in this direction are the discoveries of new phases of matter with many intriguing properties, such as topological insulators and superconductors. In this talk, I will focus on topological superconductors, and will discuss how one can engineer non-trivial superconductivity in the laboratory at the interface of an s-wave superconductor and a conventional semiconductor with a strong spin-orbit interaction. I will show that such topological state emerging at the interface hosts quasi-particles (Majoranas) that obey unconventional exchange statistics. Their exotic properties can be exploited for implementing fault-tolerant topological quantum computation schemes that are inherently decoherence-free. I will conclude my talk by reviewing recent experimental efforts in realizing and detecting Majorana zero-energy modes in one-dimensional nanowires.