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PP10: V: Popular Physics

Virtual Room 10

Sponsoring Units: FIAPChair: Thomas Meitzler, United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering CenterSession Type:

    Tue. March 21, 9:00 a.m. – 9:12 a.m. PDT

    Virtual Room 10

    There has recently been controversy on whether a reported finding of room temperature superconductivity [1], a holy grail of condensed matter physics, involved data fabrication, alteration and/or manipulation [2]. For over a year, authors refused to provide the underlying data. Preprints reporting technical analysis of the data indicating data fabrication, alteration and/or manipulation were blocked from arxiv and other preprint servers [3]. Papers submitted to journals on this topic were rejected even with unanimously positive referee reviews, on grounds that the papers could bring about legal actions against the journal. In connection with this controversy, the sole statement from APS was [3] "the superconductor controversy may stem in part from the ethos of physics, which has historically encouraged combativeness. “The culture of physics is one that is more aggressive and not very welcoming,"". Requests to APS to intervene in this issue were ignored. In this talk I will argue that APS should be more actively involved in issues concerning scientific integrity, for the benefit of the worldwide physics community and the public.

    [1] E. Snider et al, Nature 586, 373–377 (2020)

    [2] J. E. Hirsch and D. van der Marel MRE 7, 048401 (2022); D. van der Marel and J. E. Hirsch, IJMPB 2375001 (2022).

    [3] Science News, "Preprint server removes ‘inflammatory’ papers in superconductor controversy",

    Presented By

    • Jorge E Hirsch (University of California, San Diego)


    • Jorge E Hirsch (University of California, San Diego)