The Sound of Quantum Mechanics
As transistors and other elementary components in electronic circuits – the crucial building blocks for anything from iPhones to supercomputers – become smaller and smaller, they approach the limit where quantum physics becomes important. Thus, understanding how the principles of quantum mechanics can be utilized for next-generation computing is one of the most important challenges in the field. A promising route towards the realization of such quantum computers are topological superconductors, which harbor new exotic particles called Majorana fermions. How to create and manipulate these particles to perform elementary computations – a major obstacle to the realization of quantum computing – is at the center of my research. In the submitted animation, I demonstrate theoretically how the electronic properties of a topological superconductor evolve when one shines light of different wavelengths on it. The evolution of the system eventually leads to the emergence of a Majorana fermion, which you can observe as the bright spot at the end of the movie. The wave-like patterns occurring therein demonstrate one of the central concepts of quantum mechanics: the fact that any object has particle-like and wave-like properties. I converted these wave-like properties into sound waves, allowing you to hear the sound of quantum mechanics.