Paul van Gerven
25 May

Qutech researchers have alerted Nature that there may be a problem with one of their landmark majorana papers published in 2018. Accordingly, the scientific journal has published an Editorial Expression of Concern, stating that there are “potential problems in the manner in which the raw data in this Letter have been processed, and these will have an impact on the conclusions that can be reliably drawn.”

The majorana particle is thought to be the holy grail for quantum computing, as it’s exceptionally stable. Its existence was predicted in 1937, but it took until 2012 before researchers at Delft University of Technology were able to spot glimpses of it (link in Dutch). In subsequent years, they worked to provide definitive proof. The 2018 paper now under scrutiny is part of that effort.

Qutech is currently working with Nature to resolve the matter. Qutech group leader Leo Kouwenhoven told de Volkskrant he expects the investigation to conclude before the start of summer. Until then, he won’t comment on the matter.