Why it matters: Frequent skepticism about the claims of blockbuster physics.
A superconductor is a material that effortlessly carries an electric current. If this material were to function in everyday temperatures, it could be used in power transmission lines, MRI machines and virtually any device that uses electricity. Current superconductors must be cooled to temperatures that limit their usefulness.
In the past few weeks, euphoria about LK-99, a different substance that scientists in South Korea say is a room-temperature superconductor, has spread on social media, although much of that excitement has subsided after other scientists were unable to Confirmation of superconductivity. observations and come up with plausible alternative explanations.
However, the fundamental laws of physics do not preclude the possibility of a superconductor at room temperature, and the search for such materials will continue.
Background: Another unverified room-temperature superconductor.
in march in Paper published in the journal NatureDr. Dias and his collaborators said they’ve discovered a material that’s superconductive at temperatures up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, though it would require a pressure of 145,000 pounds per square inch.
Many other scientists greeted the announcement with skepticism because an earlier paper in Nature by Dr. Dias describing a different, less practical material for superconductivity already existed. to retreat.
Questions have also been raised about the now-withdrawn material review letter sheet. James Hamlin, a professor of physics at the University of Florida, told the journal’s editors that the curves in one of the paper’s figures describing the electrical resistance in the chemical compound manganese sulfide look similar to those in Dr. Dias’ doctoral dissertation that described the behavior of a different substance.
The journal recruited outside experts, who produced three independent reports to review the figure and the underlying data. “The results convincingly support the allegations of data fabrication/falsification,” the journal’s editors wrote in an email to the paper’s authors on July 10.
One reviewer, who asked not to be identified because the reviewers have not been publicly identified, said the latest response from Dr.
The reviewer said that in the past months between the paper’s authors, Dr. Hamlin, and the editors of the Physical Review letters shared with the reviewers, there had been no mention of Adobe Illustrator or what Dr. Dias said was a better infographic created by his lab in December 2019.
The reviewer said both the University of Rochester and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas should conduct open and transparent investigations into “what appear to be possible wrongdoing.”
D did not respond. Salamat and Keith F. Lawler, a research professor at UNLV and another lead author of the manganese sulfide paper, responded to requests for comment.
What’s Next: A Ward Investigation.
A university spokeswoman said in an email that the University of Rochester “has a thorough investigation ongoing into questions raised about the integrity of all data involved in this study and others.”
The university had previously conducted two preliminary investigations into Dr Dias’ research and determined that the concerns did not warrant further scrutiny. This time the university decided to start the investigation, the next step under its policy on research misconduct.
The spokeswoman said the university did not plan to publish the findings of the investigation.
On Tuesday, Dr. Hamlin said he was glad the journal took his concerns seriously. He said there are two additional instances of apparent redundancy of data in Dr Dias’ work that he hopes will be reviewed as well. one includes paper in Scientific Reports; The other is what Dr. Hamlin describes as a repetition of data in Dr. Dias’ thesis.
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