Thursday, March 16, 2023

Recent RT superconductivity claim - summary page

In the interests of saving people from lots of googling or scrolling through 170+ comments, here is a bulleted summary of links relevant to the recent claim of room temperature superconductivity in a nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride compound under pressure.  
  • Dias's contributed talk at the APS meeting is here on youtube.
  • Here is the promotional video put out by Rochester as part of the media release.  It odd to me that the department chair and the dean of the PI are both in this video.
  • Here is the pubpeer page that has sprung up with people reporting concerns about the paper.
  • The comments attached to the paper itself contain interesting discussion (though strangely an informed comment from Julia Deitz about the EDX data was repeatedly deleted as "spam")
  • There was a lot of media coverage of this paper.  The Wall Street Journal was comparatively positive.  The New York Times was more nuanced.  Quanta had a thorough article with a witty headline describing the controversy surrounding the claim.  The APS had an initial brief news report and a more extensive article emphasizing the concerns about the paper.
  • Experimental preprints have appeared looking at this.  The first observes a color change under pressure in LuH2, but no superconductivity in that related compound.  The second is a direct replication attempt, finding x-ray structural data matching the report but no superconductivity in that material up to higher pressures and down to 10 K.  Note that another preprint appeared last week reporting superconductivity at about 71 K in a different lutetium hydride at much higher pressures.
  • A relevant and insightful talk from James Hamlin is here, from a recent online workshop about reproducibility in condensed matter physics.  Note that (as reported in this twitter thread) significant portions of Hamlin's doctoral thesis appear verbatim in Dias' thesis.  
No doubt there are more; please let me know if there are additional key links that I've missed (not every twitter comment is important).   


Anonymous said...

The thing about this whole fiasco that I’m most concerned about is the fact that despite irrefutable, publicly available PROOF that parts of his PhD thesis were directly plagiarized, Ranga Dias still has a job. We are on a dangerously slippery slope to ‘normalizing’ such behavior.

I hate to say it, but it reminds me of a certain recent president, who over the course of a few short years, turned public admission of sexual assault, endorsement of white supremacy, and open incitement of violent attacks on democracy from “immediate dealbreakers and jail time ” to “questionable behavior”.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention standing up as an invited guest and showing dodgy data:

Back in the day, the thesis alone would have finished this character.

Anonymous said...

Yet more dubious claims, there is a pattern here:

"Unearthly Materials claimed to have big-name investors, but they weren’t all on board"

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Bill Gates’ climate tech fund, said it had not invested in Unearthly Materials and asked me to let them know if I found any other claims of investment. Albert Wenger, who is managing partner at Union Square Ventures and was listed as a seed-stage investor, confirmed that he had made a personal investment in the company, not one on behalf of USV.

“Those involved” do not appear to include Daniel Ek, whose name appeared as an investor in both the seed and Series A rounds. A source close to Ek told me that neither Ek nor anyone from Prima Materia, his investment firm, ever met or even considered an investment in Unearthly Materials.

So what happened to the $20 million round? “We ended up closing the round with slightly less,” Dias said. Exactly how much less he didn’t say. The company has yet to file a Form D with the U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission, and the only records I’ve found appear to cover the $1 million seed round. How much did those documents say Unearthly Materials raised? $160,000.

Anonymous said...

When will the career of Dias finally be shut down? JH Schön, after his faking was revealed, was finished and never got a foot on the ground again. This Dias character is a notorious lyer and faker, supported by his peers at Rochester and supported by a shady editor at NATURE who supported his fake news spreading TWICE. When will his career be ended, by COMPLETE embargo against him. No more talks, no more editors that decide to send his papers out, no more job at Rochester.

Anonymous said...

PRL have published an expression of concern on the MnS2 paper:

On 30 June 2021, Physical Review Letters published the article “Colossal Density-Driven Resistance Response in the Negative Charge Transfer Insulator MnS2” by D. Durkee et al. Questions have arisen regarding the integrity of the data. At this juncture, we are investigating this allegation with the cooperation of the authors.

Anonymous said...

"Expression of concern". What a waste of space. Why don't they look at the referees who reviewed that paper? Per PRL tradition, first round would include a botanist and a mathematician, the second round a high-energy theorist. To judge broad interest, of course. And to go one step further, what about all the multiverse and other garden-variety crap they publish? Any concerns there?

Peter Armitage said...

Regarding the PRL, I would not say that the referees were to blame (the recent Nature paper is another matter). As I understand it, the concern there is that data was copied and repurposed. This is hardly something to blame the referees for not catching.

Peter Armitage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hirsch's talk from the March meeting:

Anonymous said...

Hirsch does not cite the Eremets experiments on LaH10 and LaD10, which were published in Nature 569, 528 (2019). These experiments show Tc scaling with sqrt(M), and they have been independently reproduced. So why does he claim that NONE of the high-pressure experiments with Tc above high-Tc superconductors are supposedly unconfirmed?

Anonymous said...

He has noted those studies. Specifically, he's noted them for being flawed and not actually showing superconductivity (I'm not judging one way or the other, just that, in his view, these studies have issues).

Anonymous said...

Hirsch is a national treasure. I’m glad someone cares about scientific misconduct.

Anonymous said...

Nature and their referees could apparently judge the 2nd Nature paper independently of the 1st retracted one.

Why could the world not then judge Hirsch’s groundbreaking analysis independently of his opinions on e.g BCS theory?

Many people need to look at themselves. This story- which has damaged livelihoods and trust in science- could have been avoided by giving everyone the same respect.

Anonymous said...

[analysis of the data in Nature 1 to be clear, downplayed and/or ignored by Nature and Rochester]

Anonymous said...

How can Hirsch explain the Tc data in electrical conductance in the Eremets LaH10 and LaD10 paper? This must depend on omega_d and hence the sqrt of M. This is exactly predicted by BCS theory. Of was the LaD10 data faked?