The retraction follows the publication of a paper in March by physicist Ranga Dias and his team, which created significant controversy. Dias’ publication claimed to have identified a superconductor capable of operating at room temperature, a breakthrough that would enhance the efficiency of energy grids and various electrical systems.
However, Dias has faced allegations of data fabrication and plagiarism in relation to his Ph.D. thesis. As a result, several physicists immediately raised doubts concerning the credibility of Dias’ data and assertions.
These objections prompted Nature to initiate a review of the paper, which has now culminated in its retraction on Tuesday.
Interestingly, the team referred to this new material as “reddmatter,” drawing inspiration from a substance featured in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie that was theorized to generate black holes.
Nature Retracts Papers on Superconductivity Claims
Dias has expressed disagreement with all three retractions, while Salamat has supported the decision to retract the two papers this year, according to Nature’s report. Paul Canfield, a physicist from Iowa State University, commented that it is not surprising that Dias and Salamat’s team is facing yet another retraction.
The most recent retraction, which occurred in March, follows a similar pattern of a major claim in the field of superconductivity losing credibility. In July, a team from a startup in Seoul published a paper describing a “crystalline purple material” called LK-99, composed of copper, lead, phosphorus, and oxygen, which they claimed exhibited superconductivity even at normal pressures and temperatures up to 127°C (400 Kelvin). However, subsequent efforts to reproduce these results failed.
In response to these retractions and concerns surrounding Dias’ work, the University of Rochester has initiated its own investigation.
Overall, these retractions highlight the importance of maintaining rigorous scientific standards and ensuring the reliability and accuracy of research findings.