Famous Majorana paper retracted

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Qutech and Microsoft researchers have retracted their high-profile Nature paper in which they claim to have found evidence for the elusive Majorana particle. In a retraction note, they admit that data had been “unnecessarily corrected” and that one of the figure axes was “mislabeled.” After correcting for these errors, “we can no longer claim the observation of a quantized Majorana conductance.” The researchers apologize to the community for insufficient scientific rigor.

A quantum computer setup at Qutech. Credit: Marieke de Lorijn

In May 2020, when the research results had been called into question, the TU Delft appointed a research-integrity committee to investigate the case. It hasn’t finished its investigation, but a panel of experts, appointed by the committee to review the experimental data and the paper, has already concluded that there’s no evidence for scientific misconduct. The researchers “were caught up in the excitement of the moment,” according to the panel’s report.