Scientific paper announcing surprise material calls it “red matter”,What researchers claimed earlier this year was the world’s first room-temperature superconductor has been retracted Nature, The withdrawal marks the end of a years-long saga over room-temperature superconductors, following failed replications of LK-99, another material that promised to revolutionize electronics and created an online frenzy.
Unlike the LK-99, which was first published in a relatively little-known Korean Crystal Growth and Crystal Technology JournalAnd to the surprise of researchers, work on the red substance, or N-doped lutetium hydride, was published in Nature And came away with the impression of apparent scientific rigor.
But many people were still initially skeptical of the claims, due to both the singular nature of the material – there are no other superconductors that work at room temperature and low pressure – and the fact that one of the lead authors The previous superconductor paper took place at Ranga Dias University in Rochester, New York State. nature retreated In 2022.
Now, the red substance paper has been withdrawn. “There were very, very good reasons to be skeptical about this paper from the beginning,” says Lilia Boeri at the University of Rome in Italy. “I think it’s really surprising that it took this long It took so much time to withdraw this paper.
Eight of the 11 authors have concerns over “the origin of the materials examined, the experimental measurements performed, and the data-processing protocols applied,” they write in a note accompanying the retraction. These issues, he says, “undermine the integrity of the published paper”.
Three of the authors expressed no opinion on the retraction, including Dias, who has come under scrutiny since the paper was first published in March.
In August, Dias withdrew another paper. physical review paper, and other researchers accused him of plagiarizing sections of their PhD thesis. He has rejected both physical review paper and past Nature The withdrawal, and has not publicly commented on the claims of plagiarism.
Neither Dias nor the group of eight authors requesting the latest retraction responded to requests for comment. new scientists,
For many researchers, this is the final nail in the coffin for red matter, after replication attempts earlier this year repeatedly failed.
“It’s a huge waste of time,” says Graeme Auckland of the University of Edinburgh, Britain.
While it is commendable that the researchers tried honestly to replicate the results, there are still questions about how the paper reached publication, he says. “It’s a shame for the area.”
“Everyone was surprised that this paper came out Nature“Boeri says.
“It has been an extremely disappointing situation. We knew this paper would be greeted with skepticism by many in the community because of the retraction of an earlier related paper by this group,” said Carl Zimelis, editor in chief applied and physical sciences. Nature, in a statement. “Making decisions about what to accept for publication is not always easy and can lead to conflict, but we strive to take an impartial position and ensure that the interests of the community always inform our deliberations. Let’s take it forward.”
“Rigorous peer review is always important; “Indeed, as is often the case, the highly qualified expert reviewers we selected raised many questions about the original presentation, which were largely resolved in subsequent revisions,” he said. “The peer review process cannot ascertain whether the paper as written accurately reflects the research as was done. This concern was recently raised by several authors, as detailed in the retraction notice.
Boeri says while it’s likely this will have an impact on the field, it’s a healthy sign that there were doubts from the beginning.
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