Viral papers announcing the discovery of a room-temperature superconductor by a team of South Korean scientists were published online without permission, one of the team’s lead researchers told Korean agency Yonhap on Friday.
“Professor Kwon arbitrarily published [the papers] in the archive without the permission of other authors,” said Sukbae Lee, one of the scientists that the alleged superconductor LK-99 is named after. Lee was referring to Young-Wan Kwon, a research professor at Korea University listed as an author on one of the papers. Another member of the team, Dr Hyun-Tak Kim, was quoted as saying, “the two papers have many flaws and were published without permission.”
Statements from the Korean researchers follow widespread scepticism around the papers posted on the research-sharing platform arXiv.org. Some say the data they quote is “fishy” and “sloppy”.
Researchers are now working to replicate the Korean team’s work, and analysts say their findings will emerge within weeks. Meanwhile, Lee told Yonhap that the team has already requested an international journal to review their findings. They “will be verified through peer evaluation,” Lee said.
Physicists have been hunting for a room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor for decades. Such a material would be a game-changer for electronics and global energy systems, and could help develop technologies ranging from long-lasting batteries to levitating trains.
Read the full story: Yonhap
- By Vishakha Saxena