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Superconductor Scientist Faces Investigation as a Paper Is Retracted

A superconductor is a fabric that effortlessly carries electrical present. If such a substance works at on a regular basis temperatures, it might discover use in energy transmission strains, magnetic resonance imaging machines and nearly any system that makes use of electrical energy. Present superconductors need to be cooled to temperatures that restrict their usefulness.

Prior to now few weeks, euphoria over LK-99, a unique materials that scientists in South Korea say is a room-temperature superconductor, swept over social media, though a lot of that pleasure has since calmed after different scientists have been unable to substantiate the superconductivity observations and got here up with believable different explanations.

Nevertheless, the basic legal guidelines of physics don’t prohibit the potential for a room-temperature superconductor, and the seek for such supplies will proceed.

In March in a paper published in the journal Nature, Dr. Dias and his collaborators stated they’d found a fabric that superconducted at temperatures as much as 70 levels Fahrenheit, though it required squeezing to a stress of 145,000 kilos per sq. inch.

Many different scientists greeted the announcement with skepticism as a result of an earlier Nature paper by Dr. Dias describing a different and less practical superconducting material had already been retracted.

Questions had additionally been raised in regards to the now-retracted Bodily Evaluate Letters paper. James Hamlin, a professor of physics on the College of Florida, advised the journal’s editors that the curves in one of many paper’s figures describing electrical resistance within the chemical compound manganese sulfide regarded just like ones in Dr. Dias’s doctoral thesis that described the conduct of a unique materials.

The journal recruited exterior consultants who produced three impartial reviews to evaluate the determine and the underlying information. “The findings again up the allegations of knowledge fabrication/falsification convincingly,” the journal’s editors wrote in an e mail to the authors of the paper on July 10.

The most recent response from Dr. Dias is “each insufficient and disappointing,” stated one of many reviewers, who requested to stay nameless as a result of the reviewers haven’t been publicly recognized.

Throughout the months of forwards and backwards between the authors of the paper, Dr. Hamlin and the editors of Bodily Evaluate Letters, there was no point out of Adobe Illustrator or what Dr. Dias stated was a greater graph that was generated by his lab in December 2019, the reviewer stated.

Each the College of Rochester and the College of Nevada, Las Vegas ought to conduct open, clear investigations into “what seems to be potential malfeasance,” the reviewer stated.

Dr. Salamat and Keith V. Lawler, a analysis professor at UNLV and one other key writer of the manganese sulfide paper, didn’t reply to requests for remark.

The College of Rochester “has a complete investigation underway into the questions raised in regards to the integrity of all information at concern on this and different research,” a college spokeswoman stated in an e mail.

The college had beforehand carried out three preliminary inquiries into Dr. Dias’s analysis and determined the considerations didn’t warrant additional scrutiny. This time, the college determined to begin an investigation, the subsequent step mandated by its policy on research misconduct.

The college doesn’t plan to make public the findings of the investigation, the spokeswoman stated.

On Tuesday, Dr. Hamlin stated he was happy that the journal had taken his considerations severely. He stated there have been two further cases of obvious information duplication in Dr. Dias’s work that he hoped would even be reviewed. One includes another Nature paper; the opposite is what Dr. Hamlin describes as a duplication of knowledge in Dr. Dias’s thesis.

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