CWI investigation

News - 08 February 2022 - Webredactie Communication

The TU Delft Executive Board has received a fresh internal report regarding possible irregularities in a few publications on Majorana research. It has been suggested that there may have been irregularities in data processing by one or more of the authors in publications prior to 2019. These possible irregularities were found by some of the other authors following questions from scientists outside TU Delft. The Executive Board, in recognition of the great importance of transparency and reliability of scientific research results, has forwarded the report to the Scientific Integrity Committee TU Delft (Commissie Wetenschappelijke Integriteit, or CWI). It has since been announced that the CWI will conduct an investigation. It is not yet known when the CWI will issue its advice based on this investigation.
Tim van der Hagen, Rector Magnificus of TU Delft: “It is important that we investigate this finding carefully. Science means always looking critically at results, and questioning and challenging them.” There has been a previous report about a Majorana publication; this publication was withdrawn in March 2021.
The Majorana particle forms the basis of one of the four lines of research along which TU Delft is pursuing the development of a quantum computer within QuTech, the research centre for quantum technology jointly run by TU Delft and TNO. At QuTech, three other building blocks for the quantum computer are also being researched. These are not based on Majorana’s, but on superconductors, semiconductors and diamond. The latter three types of quantum bits (also known as qubits) are more advanced, and the bulk of the National Growth Fund contributions is being spent on these. In the long run, Majorana's also remain promising.