[ExI] Weyl Fermions

Robin D Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu
Mon Jul 27 11:06:36 UTC 2015

That does indeed sound very promising. Of course there also seem to be a lot of practical obstacles. So this may take many decades to become practical on any substantial scale.

On Jul 26, 2015, at 10:13 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com<mailto:johnkclark at gmail.com>> wrote:

I have a hunch
​that in the near future ​
we'll be hearing a lot more about Weyl Fermions and their use in electronics and possibly Quantum Computers

Because these quasiparticles
massless they can move electrical charge around much more quickly than electrons and because they
 bounce off imperfections and move backwards as electrons do but instead use quantum tunneling to move right through them
  produce no heat.

Three different solutions to Dirac's equation for 1/2 spin particles have been found:

1) Dirac Fermions: These are what people usually mean when they talk about Fermions, particles like electrons protons and neutrons.

2) Majorana Fermions: They would be their own antiparticle and would be great for quantum computing. There is some indications these quasiparticles exist but nothing definite yet.

3) Weyl Fermions: Thanks to the  July 16 2015 issue of the  journal Science we
​now ​
know that these quasiparticles do exist.

In June of this year writing in the journal Nature Communications Princeton professor M. Zahid Hasan predicted from pure theory that Weyl Fermions should exist in tantalum arsenide crystals. In the July 16 issue of
Science 2 different teams reported that they had indeed seen Weyl Fermions in crystals of tantalum arsenide. Shortly after that Weyl Fermions were also found in niobium and perhaps more importantly silicon-based crystals. I smell a Nobel Prize.

Hasan said:

“Weyl fermions could be used to solve the traffic jams that you get with electrons in electronics—they can move in a much more efficient, ordered way than electrons. They could lead to a new type of electronics we call ‘Weyltronics.’ Weyl fermions could exist in certain crystals known as “Weyl semimetals,” which can essentially split electrons inside into pairs of Weyl fermions that move in opposite directions. The fact that Weyl fermions are less prone to interacting with their surroundings could lead to new ways of encoding quantum information.  It’s like they have their own GPS and steer themselves without scattering. They will move and move only in one direction since they are either right-handed or left-handed and never come to an end because they just tunnel through. These are faster
​ ​
 behave like unidirectional light beams and can be used for new types of quantum computing
The physics of the Weyl fermion are so strange, there could be many things that arise from this particle that we're just not capable of imagining now. Weyl
quasiparticles ​
could become a motherboard for future electronic devices
​ ​
because they combine high mobility with topological protection
​. [against quantum decoherence]" ​

  John K Clark
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Robin Hanson  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Res. Assoc., Future of Humanity Inst., Oxford Univ.
Assoc. Professor, George Mason University
Chief Scientist, Consensus Point
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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