The scientific journal Nature has retracted a study claiming the creation of a room-temperature superconductor, that was originally thought to potentially revolutionize electrical systems.
Hydrogen, a metal called lutetium, and nitrogen were the components involved in the scrutinized study. The papers' authors had previously requested for its retraction, raising questions about the integrity of the research.
Unreliable Data and Misrepresentation
Scrutiny on the study heightened due to concerns about the data presented. After an investigation, the issues were considered credible and substantial. More worryingly, eight of the eleven authors claimed that the published paper didn't accurately depict the materials used, measurements taken, and data-processing protocols applied. This led to the eventual retraction by Nature.
Alarmingly, this is not the first instance where the research team had a paper on room-temperature superconductors retracted by Nature. A similar incident occurred within the past two years, damaging the credibility of the team further.
Accusations Against Research Leader
The research leader, physicist Ranga Dias, was particularly called out for not acting in good faith while preparing and submitting the manuscript. As serious as it gets, allegations of plagiarism have been leveled against Dias, with a large part of his PhD thesis alleged to be copied.
Attempts to replicate the study further solidified the concerns. After numerous unsuccessful tries, it was concluded that the material didn't possess the properties claimed in the study. This could have led to efficient electrical systems with zero resistance needing minimal cooling, promising significant advancements in fusion reactors and MRI machines, had the study been valid.