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Physical sciences/Physics/Particle physics/Subatomic particles/Fermions/Majorana fermions

An innovative approach in nanoscience to detect the presence of exotic quasiparticles, known as Majorana fermions, has won the 2012 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

The association’s oldest prize, now supported by The Fodor Family Trust, annually recognizes the author or authors of an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of the journal Science between June and the following May.

The observation of an elusive sub-atomic particle known as the Higgs boson has been heralded by the journal Science as the most important scientific discovery of 2012. This particle, which was first hypothesized to exist more than 40 years ago, holds the key to explaining how other elementary particles such as electrons and quarks (those that aren’t made up of smaller particles) get their mass.