A research group funded by the United States Army has discovered compelling evidence of the Majorana particle, which was first hypothesized in 1937 — over 80 years ago. It was predicted that the particle would be used as a "building block" for future quantum computers. The research was done under Professor Kang Wang of UCLA, also collaborating with the research team were members of Stanford University, UC Irvine, and UC Davis.
The US Army stated that Quantum computers would be a key component in creating an 'unhackable' machine, and pushing the large data capabilities further.
Quantum computers could solve problems much more quickly and efficiently than classical computers, potentially leading to significant improvement in situational awareness with the capability to process large amount of available data, a fundamental priority research area for the U.S. Army.
One of the primary reasons that this particular Majorana particle has been an interest for potential quantum computing is due to its neutral charge; it doesn't carry any electrical charge. This facilitates several key attributes that make it desirable for quantum computing. One is that it is "viewed as the best candidate" for carrying "qubits" which can be either 0s or 1s, as opposed to the standard "bits" of today that can only be one or the other. Quantum bits would give computers an incredible level of computing power, exponentially more than even our highest-end computers today.
Research will continue into the Majorana particle and how to best create Quantum computers in the future. The next step according to the researchers is to "explore how to use Majorana particles in quantum braiding, which would knit them together to allow information to be stored and processed at super high speeds". Check back at ModMy for future updates on Quantum computing.