Last Updated on July 29, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Physicist Ranga Dias, who gained attention last year for claiming to have discovered room-temperature superconductors, is now facing controversy over allegations of data fabrication and plagiarism. The journal Physical Review Letters (PRL) has retracted one of Dias’s papers following an investigation that found apparent data fabrication.
Dias, a physicist from the University of Rochester, has been accused of plagiarism in his PhD thesis and has had another paper retracted by the esteemed scientific journal Nature. These allegations have prompted concerns regarding the credibility of his recent claims.
In the investigation conducted by PRL, it was discovered that the data provided by co-author Ashkan Salamat did not match the figures in the paper. This discrepancy has raised suspicions of data fabrication, further tarnishing Dias’s credibility.
However, Dias vehemently denies any misconduct, stating that there has been no data fabrication or manipulation in his work. Despite his denial, the retractions and allegations have generated skepticism among physicists and researchers who question the reliability of his research.
The situation surrounding Dias’s retractions and alleged data fabrication draws comparisons to a case in the past involving researcher Jan Hendrik Schön. Two decades ago, Schön was found to have falsified data, severely damaging his scientific career.
In 2020, Dias made headlines when he claimed to have created a superconductor that operates at 15°C under extreme pressure. However, the results could not be reproduced, and the paper was subsequently retracted by Nature.
Earlier this year, Dias and his colleagues made another breakthrough announcement, stating that they had discovered a new superconducting material that works at room temperature. However, given the retractions and allegations surrounding Dias, these results are now being viewed with skepticism.
The scientific community has expressed concerns about trusting Dias’s research, considering the retractions and allegations against him. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of rigorous peer review and scientific integrity in maintaining the credibility of research findings.