Sunday, June 23, 2024

Nature, one of the most prestigious journals in scientific publishing, retracted a high-profile paper it had published in March that claimed the discovery of a superconductor that worked at everyday temperatures. The retraction comes after the journal had already retracted another paper involving Ranga P. Dias, a professor of mechanical engineering and physics at the University of Rochester in New York State. Dr. Dias and his colleagues’ research is the latest in a long list of claims of room-temperature superconductors that have failed to pan out. A spokesperson for Dr. Dias stated that he intends to resubmit the scientific paper to a journal with a more independent editorial process. The discovery of a superconductor that works at everyday temperatures and pressures could have practical applications such as use in M.R.I. scanners, novel electronic devices and levitating trains. Superconductors have been the subject of viral excitement but Dr. Dias’s claim of a room-temperature superconductor did not set off the euphoria that others did due to doubts by many scientists. Dr. Dias and his colleagues reported that they had discovered a material – lutetium hydride with some nitrogen added – that was able to superconduct electricity at temperatures of up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there have been questions raised by outside experts on the validity of the research. The University of Rochester has started a “comprehensive investigation” by experts not affiliated with the school.

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