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Lucent Reexamines Breakthrough Research

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the publish-and-perish dept.

Science 139

s20451 writes "Bell Labs' claims to have manufactured transistors consisting of a single-molecule switch are being met with skepticism in the scientific community, following difficulties in reproducing the experiment. Now a panel has been formed to investigate research misconduct related to not only that claim, but others regarding organic transistors." We've run several stories about the extremely tiny transistors and the innovative ways of assembling them which Lucent has been working on. A reader's summary of a subscriber-only story on Science's website suggests that there is strong evidence that some of the data in the published papers was faked.

cancel ×

139 comments

NEW /. FEATURE PROPOSAL (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559540)

Hello,

As many of you know by now, Slashdot has had a new feature for some time of separating out the sections. For example, all science stories go into science.slashdot.org. Indeed, the sections are now color-coded, with the Apple section displaying a new "glossy" look.

Now, this is all fine, but the Slashdot Janitors are missing out on a real opportunity to improve the site. Most of the people on this site are Trolls and Crapflooders, but where, I ask, is the fp.slashdot.org, containing an archived copy of every single legitimate fp? Or the locally cached image of hello.jpg on goatsecx.slashdot.org for load times faster than people can hit the "stop" button? If Slashdot wants to remain popular, it needs to focus on pleasing the majority of it's user-base. Perhaps clicking on "Read More" would randomly display a page full of "*BSD is dying" rather than the usual inane drivel Slashbots spew forth.

These are the kinds of features I would expect of a professional web-site, and as long as Slashdot doesn't have them, I'm not considering paying for a subscription. I urge you to do the same.

Good Day.

Re:NEW /. FEATURE PROPOSAL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559553)

Submit a patch and stop whining.

Re:NEW /. FEATURE PROPOSAL (-1)

stallo (575157) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559557)

wtf happened to trollaxor.com? to much anal rape in prision?

Re:NEW /. FEATURE PROPOSAL (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559604)

I don't know what happened to trollaxor.com. I do know it was supposed to be back the 13th, then the 17th, and I haven't heard anything else since then. I fear something terrible has happened - perhaps CmdrTaco was in cahoots with Trollaxor's captors. We can only hope he's still alive.

Hope that Trollaxor is dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559624)

CmdrTaco was in cahoots with Trollaxor's captors. We can only hope he's still alive.

If CmdrTaco and his snotting gang are indeed with Trollaxor's captors, you've better hope he's not alive.

Being locked in some dank basement in Holland, Michigan and getting subjected to hideous snotting sessions and goatse-reamings thrice a day is a fate too much gruesome to even think about!

and don't forget... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559643)

the awful cowboyneal-farty-on-the-face sessions. lets just hope he didn't suffer at the hands of these evil doers.

Re:Hope that Trollaxor is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560686)

There was me, that is Taco, and my three droogs, that is Michael, Cowboy Neil and chrisd. And we sat in the Korova Milk Bar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova Milk Bar sold milk plus - milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old Ultra-Moderation.

One thing I could never stand is to see a filthy old troll posting away the filthy goatse links of his fathers and going Blerp Blerp in between as it might be a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten mind. I could never stand to see anyone like that whatever his age might be. But more especially when he was real crapflooder like this one was.

Re:NEW /. FEATURE PROPOSAL (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559726)

Trollaxor is alive and free (although he refuses to talk about the width of his asshole). I spoke with the man himself yesterday, and he promised the site would be up last night. Apparently he's run into some problems...

aaahhh (-1)

stallo (575157) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559542)

too easy, fuckwits. eat meeeeeee

5th post (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559565)

I suppose I should say something about my balls.

something for your ballz (-1)

ElCagado (575762) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559681)

TESTICULAR SELF-EXAMINATION (TSE)
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in men between 15 and 35 years of age. Although it accounts for only about 1 percent of all cancers in men, it is the number one cancer killer among men in their 20's and 30's. The disease is highly curable if it is diagnosed in early stage. Men can greatly increase their chances of early diagnosis by performing a simple procedure called testicular self-examination (TSE).

Risk Factors:
The disease develops more frequently in Whites than in Blacks. Men with a past history of undescended testicles at birth are at higher risk. Self-exam is especially important for these individuals.

How To Perform TSE:

TSE should be performed once a month after a warm bath or shower. The warm temperature and water causes the scrotal skin to relax, making it easier to find a lump or mass. The procedure itself is simple and only takes a few minutes:

Stand naked in front of a mirror. Look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum. It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other.

Examine each testicle gently with both hands. The index and middle fingers should be placed on the top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. (Fig. 1) Feel for a small lump--about the size of a pea--on the front or side of the testicle. These lumps are usually painless.

Find the epididymis (a cord-like structure on the top and back of the testicle that stores and transports sperm). Do not confuse the epididymis with a lump. (Fig. 2)

Feel for any lumps or mass - about the size of a pea - on the front or the side of the testicle. These lumps are usually painless.

If you have any lumps or other symptoms, it does not necessarily mean you have testicular cancer; but, you must be checked by a physician. If detected and treated early, more than 90% of the patients are cured by surgery and radiotherapy.

These PhDs were probably Linux users (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559568)

You know those assholes have no ethical boundaries.

Re:These PhDs were probably Linux users (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559585)

This is what selling your soul to a corporate entity leads to.

Free science exists only in the academia.

Could it be..... (-1)

perl_god (578135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559578)

...stock manipulation?

in the hi-tech sector?

I'm shocked....

The proof is in the criticisim (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559591)

The critics of great ideas, like those of Erich von Daniken [daniken.com] , Noam Chomsky [mit.edu] and Emmanuel Goldstein [fazigu.org] all say the same things about them that you say about Stephen Wolfram [wolframscience.com] and this new breakthrough.

So now who's the crank?

Ooops! wrong article [slashdot.org] sorry!

The Takedown guy is back, LOL!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559707)

I love that Goldstein link every time I see it! HAHAHAHAH!

it's happened before (0, Offtopic)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559593)

FYI: (i know it's about half way off-topic but...)

Mendel faked his data on genes (hmm... signifigantly altered); we don't give him flak about it...
his error margin was zero! supposedly non of his plants even, say, got eaten by a rabbit =)

Re:it's happened before (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559730)

And he would have gotten clean away with it too if it wasn't for those mendel-in' kids.

News at 10 (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559598)

Making a name for oneself vs respecting peer review process!!

Dare I say it. This is what happens when over eager execs push researchers to publish findings before they are ready.

I hardley think this is news.

Re:News at 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559825)

Umh, no. The thing is these results were all published in the _most_ respected journals in the physical sciences, Science and Nature. So this was not a case of corporation's versus peer review. This was a case of peer review breaking down...

Foreign scam (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559606)

What else can you expect from foreign researchers?

It is outrageous that our nation favours foreign citizens over the potential US researchers. This is a healthy reminder that the ethics outside our borders often leaves a lot to hope for.

Re:Foreign scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559678)

favours foreign citizens Go away and stop playing a dumb-American for the Slashdot crowd.

Re:Foreign scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559868)

Its called surival of the fittest. Once majority of the Americans start learning beyond single choice MCQs for exams then maybe there is a hope. Why else do you think all the Chinese and Indians are taking over the technology sector? They are hardworking and other major factor is that they have spent their childhood without the disease of video games.

Re:Foreign scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559890)

Yes, until THEIR children become Americans. You'll see.

Hey, guys...? (2, Insightful)

Schwamm (513960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559612)

A reader's summary of a subscriber-only story on Science's website suggests that there is strong evidence that some of the data in the published papers was faked.

Do we get to see the reader's summary? Not even a link?

Re:Hey, guys...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559799)

The article is at [sciencemag.org]
(But you've got to be a subscriber to see it.)


The most damning piece of evidence presented in that article are two graphs, purportedly describing different experiments which look identical down to the random noise, and a third graph with a different scale which looks almost identical.

Noone seems to be able to reproduce any of the results. The scepticism seems at least justified.

.

Re:Hey, guys...? (2)

nucal (561664) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559960)

So not only were they fabricating data, but they were really bad at fabricating data.

Here's the text (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559936)

Pioneering Physics Studies Under Suspicion

Officials at Bell Laboratories, the research arm of Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill, New Jersey, are forming a committee of outside researchers to investigate questions about a recent series of acclaimed scientific studies. Outside researchers presented evidence to Bell Labs management last week of possible manipulation of data involving five separate papers published in Science, Nature, and Applied Physics Letters over 2 years.

The papers describe a series of different device experiments, but physicists are voicing suspicions about the figures, portions of which seem almost identical even though the labels are different. Particularly puzzling is the fact that one pair of graphs show the same pattern of "noise," which should be random.

The groundbreaking papers include Bell Labs physicist Jan Hendrik Schön as lead author and his colleagues at Murray Hill and elsewhere as co-authors. Schön is the only researcher who co-authored all five papers in question. Everyone involved agrees that the questions need further investigation, but many fear that the impact could be devastating for Bell Labs and for solid state physics. Schön told ScienceNOW that he stands behind his data, and he says it's not surprising that experiments with similar devices produce similar-looking data.

Schön, who joined Bell Labs in 1998, has worked most closely with former Bell Labs physicist Bertram Batlogg--now at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich--and Bell Labs chemist Christian Kloc. His work has focused on efforts to make novel types of transistors using organic materials. He was the lead author on at least 17 papers in Science and Nature in the last 2.5 years.

Until this week, many physicists believed the impressive string of results was worthy of consideration for a Nobel Prize, although other groups have reported no success in reproducing Schön's most striking results. Last week, several physicists began to present their doubts to company managers. Bell Labs spokesperson Saswato Das says that company officials take the concerns "very seriously." Within hours of hearing of them on 10 May, Das says that Lucent management decided to form an external review panel chaired by Stanford University physicist Malcolm Beasley. Das says, "The panel will be given full freedom to make an independent review of concerns that have been raised." Physicist Paul McEuen of Cornell University, one of the first to question the data openly, says that Lucent is taking the right step: "Malcolm Beasley has great stature in the community. ... Everybody wants to get to the truth." --ROBERT F. SERVICE

Figure legend: Striking resemblance. Bell Labs is investigating a possible duplication of data in several publications. (* The author has corrected the bottom graph.)

From stuff like this fundamental discoveries come. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560007)

The papers describe a series of different device experiments, but physicists are voicing suspicions about the figures, portions of which seem almost identical even though the labels are different. Particularly puzzling is the fact that one pair of graphs show the same pattern of "noise," which should be random.

If this ISN'T faked, a pattern showing up where current models suggest there's only noise could lead to a fundamental discovery. (Remember: "Noise" includes the output of any hidden mechanism that you don't yet understand.)

Re:From stuff like this fundamental discoveries co (1, Offtopic)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560027)

Above post was me - Ungrounded Lightning (Rod). For some reason slashdot is losing track of my login today.

Re:From stuff like this fundamental discoveries co (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560521)

You have a 4-digit UID and still you stooped that low to gain karma.

You really are a loser. Karma is a mug's game.

Fake results (4, Interesting)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559614)

It makes me sad when I see companys trying to hype up their research to pump up their share price.

Now when my group does any research which has positive results we are scared to release anything because everyone assumes its simply another con.

Currently we have an asynchronous processor which releases so little EMI it looks dead in the graphs.

We tried showing this to other people but everyone nowdays refuses to beleve anything unconvesional can be good.

Re:Fake results (3, Interesting)

Alsee (515537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559800)

asynchronous processor which releases so little EMI it looks dead in the graphs.

Sounds like an obvious result to me. Asynchronous means the transistors don't fire at the same time, and they don't fire at a consistant frequency.

Listening to EMI from a normal CPU is like listening to someone pour 100 pounds of bricks.
Listening to an asynchronous processor is like listening to someone pour 100 pounds of talcum powder. You just get a low whoosh noise.

-

Re:Fake results (1)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559830)

Try explaining that to someone who has allready invested a 1mil into organic transistors.
Another mil into a company that claims it can make see through copper as soft as soap (I have seen some people who are convinced of this).

Investors aren't scientists so there easy to con. But i feel dirty even thinking about it.

Re:Fake results (2)

Alsee (515537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560464)

Investors aren't scientists so there easy to con

Heh, I just thought of a cool new job - "pet geek". Every investor should have one :)

Investor offers pet geek $250 for 2 hours evaluating/researching the tech behind the proposal, and 1/2 hour answering the investor's questions in person (or on the phone). $100 per hour.

Geek naturally spends all day checking out the tech and an hour or two talking to the investor about it :)

The important point is for the geek to admit to himself and to the client that he knows zero about the bussiness prospects (he just did about 10 hours of "work" when he was paid for 2.5, remember? chuckle). The investor has the bussiness expertise. The geek's job is to point out which parts are obvious and true, which parts have major obstacles to overcome, which parts are total bullshit, and to answer the investor's stupid-ass questions in a polite manner :)

If any wealthy investors are reading this post, I hereby offer my services as Pet Geek :)

-

Re:Fake results (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559834)

Fake reports, shredding documents, bribing legislators with campaign "donations:" There is nothing big business will not do to grab money. It is upsetting, but not suprising. Business today is so dishonest that investing in stock is a bigger gamble then going to the track, and playing the ponies.

Re:Fake results (1)

NetFu (155538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560347)

Careful there, don't generalize by going from stating that "there is nothing big business will not do to grab money" to stating that "investing in stocks is a bigger gamble than playing the ponies". That's a stretch because you are equating Lucent's actions in this case to not only other big companies, but to all other companies who are publicly traded. That's an incredible over-exaggeration.

It's this kind of thinking that causes good company's stocks to go down regardless of what they are doing or how big, small, or honest they are. And that's part of what is hurting our economy now. Take statements like yours seriously because some people really are weak-minded enough to simply believe them as-is...

Re:Fake results (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560368)


It makes me sad when I see companys trying to hype up their research to pump up their share price.
Now when my group does any research which has positive results we are scared to release anything because everyone assumes its simply another con.
Currently we have an asynchronous processor which releases so little EMI it looks dead in the graphs.
We tried showing this to other people but everyone nowdays refuses to beleve anything unconvesional can be good.

What do you mean? It should be -easy- to convince people your processor works the way you claim. Loan them some of your prototypes (after they sign a non-disclosure agreement) and let them test the processors on their own, with their own equipment.

If your measurements are valid, they will be able to replicate them easily. If not, you will learn what you did wrong quickly enough. Whatever you do, don't sit around blaming close-minded attitudes for your failure to convince people. Otherwise, you start to sound like crackpot researchers.

As to Dr. Schon, I suspect that he will be asked to replicate some of his measurements in the presence of trained observers. He should still have working parts, and if he can do so, he will be vindicated. Otherwise, his career is finished.

Stock prices (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559629)

I suppose it was an attempt to inflate their sagging stock price.

molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559640)

they say lucent has made molecule size organic transistors. what size molecules are they talking about? a BOWLING BALL is one molecule, so that is clearly not what they mean. how do these compare to ATOMIC size is the question.

QED

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559664)

good idea, but a bowling ball is not single molecule...

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559696)

Bowling balls made of more than one molecule are just not up to the symmetry tolerances required to knock down the 'ol 12 pins I guess.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

Schwamm (513960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559709)

Unless a "BOWLING BALL" is somehow different from a "bowling ball" (you know, the round ball people typically use for bowling), I'm pretty sure that it's actually a whole bunch of molecules formed into a spheroid.

But yeah, it's possible to have a very large molecule (in theory), so how big are they talking?

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (3, Informative)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559713)

A bowling ball is not one single molecule. Try a diamond. That is.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559877)

hmm...i was always told it was. a lot of plastics are. i guess i might be mistaken then. in that case, what plastics and plastic object ARE one molecule?

QED

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559909)

You're thinking monomers vs polymers. But you still have hella lot of polymer molecules in a bowling ball.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560086)

Not necessarily. Consider a polymer made of quad-functional monomer, where steric properties of molecule makes it unlikely that two monomers can match each other on all functionalities (which is normally the case) then it is exceeedingly unlikely that two then-monomers in the bowling ball are ucnonnected in the polymer matrix after vulcanization.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560267)

Really? Never thought of it that way. How about condoms? They one molecule too? I mean natural latex rubber here, it's a pretty long chain no?

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560662)

I don't know. Usually, everything made of a heavily crosslinked polymer with in-situ polymerisation is a single molecule, while all other cases are collections of molecules. Latex condoms probably fail on both accounts but I don't really know how they are produced nor how much crosslinked their latex is.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (2)

_typo (122952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560001)

A diamond isn't a molecule. It's a tighly packed structure of molecules with very strong connections between them, but not a single molecule.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (2)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560084)


A diamond isn't a molecule. It's a tighly packed structure of molecules with very strong connections between them, but not a single molecule.

No, a single crystal of diamond is a (potentially very large) single molecule. Every atom in it has a covalent bond to at least one (and generally four) of its neighbors.

-- MarkusQ

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (2)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560465)

But does an indeterminable-sized crystalline lattice really make it a molecule?

What's the chemcial notation for diamond? C sub asterisk?

When I think of a molecule, I think of a determinable chemical structure along the lines of H sub 2 O, C sub 8 H sub 16 O sub 8, or my favorite, C sub 2 H sub 5 OH.

I would assert, then, that diamond isn't a molecule at all, but is a crystaline structure.

Any chemists out there have a definitive answer?

::Colz Grigor

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

Fjord (99230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559722)

A diamond would be a better example.

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559907)

from dictionary.com :

"The smallest particle of a substance that retains the chemical and physical properties of the substance and is composed of two or more atoms; a group of like or different atoms held
together by chemical forces."

It would seem that a molecule of diamond would be the smallest arrangement of carbon atoms that have the properties of diamon, or does the crystal structure dispose of the 'smallest' definition?

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560129)

I've got a BOWLING BALL in my stomach!

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560229)

Er, by that definition a silicon transistor is probably also a molecule (before doping) since it's grown as a single crystal ...

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (1)

IncohereD (513627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560348)

Do you mean a "Bucky Ball?" i.e. the largest Carbon molecule, at 60 Carbon atoms. Plastics do chain together in large polymers, but I think the bowling ball example is a bit of a stretch....

Re:molecule size vs. atomic size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560365)

A diamond isn't a molecule. Its basically carbon, an element, in one of its solid forms. A diamond contains, depending on quality different types and numbers of other elements. Certain elements Br,I,N,Cl,H,O and F will form molecules with themselves and exist naturally. These however form only pairs.

Gods in the cmmiteee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559644)

Man i am at Purdue nd one o the Guys Supriyo Dutta
in the panel is like a total total Genius.He sees equations and like he know everything... wow wow for Pudue

Re:Gods in the cmmiteee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559687)

was that english ? Purdue huh, what capacity, facilities ?

Before the bashing begins.... (4, Informative)

CHUD-Wretch (578617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559646)

Just think where we would be without Lucent (well, Bell Labs in particular)....

They have invented, among MANY other things...
"the transistor, the laser and wireless technologies." [bell-labs.com]

90% of the tech you love and can't live without originated at Bell Labs.
You know...computers...unix...voice communication...redundant/fault tolerant data networks...etc...

Oh, and for the patent lovers in tha house...

"Bell Labs averaged one patent per business day from 1925 to 1995,
and since March 1996, patents assigned to Lucent have been issued at a rate of more than three per business day."

(Disclaimer - I do realize this is off topic a little, but I want people to think about how much great tech comes out of there!)

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (2)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559767)

Are you trying to say that just because they've invented a lot of things we should let them off when they make up an invention they haven't invented?

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559852)

Gorsh, and here I though Heinrich Hertz and Guglielmo Marconi invented the wireless, darn.

Kids these days....

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560053)

Try Tesla.

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560296)

I did - (Actually I do have a 7" spark (small, yes) Tesla coil). From all I've read tho,I still have to give Marconi 1st prize for developing and marketing, installing and operating functional, useful shipboard wireless stations for emergency communications. And Hertz was the one who proved the electromagnetic waves predicted in theory by Maxwell before Tesla. See this page [umd.edu] .

While Tesla can be credited with inventing the rotating magnetic field, and an unacknowledged genius in his own right, the last 10 or so years of "yada yada Tesla invented this, Tesla invented That yada yada yada" has gone a little to far in the other direction ;)

Re:Before the bashing begins.... Tesla, Clarke... (1)

CHUD-Wretch (578617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560205)

No, Nicola Tesla did. [force9.co.uk]

"The Great Radio Controversy
He (Tesla) invented Wireless radio, but Guglielmo Marconi was given the credit until June 1943,
when The U. S. Supreme Court finally settled the matter, after 16 months of investigating patent records and scientific publications,
and declared that Nikola Tesla was the true inventor of modern radio technology.
This was known as the Great Radio Controversy.
Unfortunately, most school children are still taught that it was Marconi, which shows
how simple it is for us to regurgitate uncorroborated legends, without checking on the up to date facts."


Also...along the Bell lines...

Bell Labs invented the "cellular concept"...many stations sharing common channels...

Satellite communications were another first.
(And yes, Arthur C. Clarke invented the idea of
geosynchronous orbits [lsi.usp.br] which the first Bell Labs Comm Satellite used.
This orbit is also known as the "Clarke Orbit" [wolfram.com] )

Re:Before the bashing begins.... Tesla, Clarke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560615)

Nikola Tesla was the true inventor of modern radio technology.

WHO FUCKING CARES?!?!?!

I'm sick of you Tesla disciples shouting about how unfairly your hero was treated. Well, guess what. I don't care and practically no-one else does care either.

Besides, Tesla's crackpot ideas really outweigh the value of his inventions that actually worked. Thousands of monkies typing on thousands of typewriters... you know the drill.

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (1, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559853)

They have invented, among MANY other things... "the transistor, the laser and wireless technologies."

Unfortunately, these have all turned out to be hoaxes. Please stop using your computer, CD player, and cellphone now.

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (3, Funny)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559854)

Actually, good friends tell good friends when they think they're fucking up. That is why Europe and America are currently being pretty damned good friends, and we would be good friends of Lucent to tell them to straighten up.

The problem arises when the friends can't figure out which one is fucking up, and get annoyed with each other.

Bell Labs is not just one guy. (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560083)

They have invented, among MANY other things... "the transistor, the laser and wireless technologies."

But remember that Bell Labs is an institution, not an individual. It is composed of MANY scientists. It is not impossible that the barrel has acquired a bad apple. The trick is to find the bad apples and pull them out before they spoil the barrel.

Of course it COULD be that the research in question wasn't faked, with the anomolies coming from a clerical error, a jackpot, or a previously-undiscovered bit of physics. That's why they're INVESTIGATING, rather than just recalling the papers and canning those connected with 'em.

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (3, Informative)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560230)

The question is the same as it always has been - "What have you done for me lately?". In the business world that's largely what it comes down to. Of course, you also have to execute on innovation, which they've failed at too.

They were buying companies left and right and increasing thier already huge debt burdon. And then failing to utilize many of the technologies they bought.

Once upon a time Bell Labs was the leader in numerous fields, largely because they invented them. Now they're in second place or worse in virtually every field. They'll occasionally come out with something innovative and then someone else will do the same thing without violating their patent, for less, and with a better business plan.

Disclaimer - I do realize this is off topic a little, but I want people to think about how much great tech comes out of there!)

I'd also put that in the past tense.

Lucent is rapidly becoming the Xerox PARC of the 1990s/2000s - lots of nifty stuff which proceeds to rot or be taken by other companies.

Re:Before the bashing begins.... (2)

eam (192101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560254)

Bell Labs of 2002 (Lucent) is not the same as Bell Labs of 1925. Perhaps that isn't obvious. Perhaps it should be.

I doubt many of the people who were in charge in '25 are in charge now. I'd be surprised if many (any?) of the people who were there in '25 are there now.

Over the years things change. Focus shifts. Ethics might even be forgotten. If people at Bell Labs have been faking results, it could be an important warning of more serious problems. It looks like the folks in charge realize this & take it seriously. Hopefully that's true. If they handle this right, they might be able to earn back the respect that they are losing.

Tolda ya so (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559648)

Due to Slashdots brain-dead comment history I can't find the link, but I've said many times that nano-research is a pseudo-science akin to ESP and fusion research.

Why can't the alternative science community be more like the cheap-but-effective alternative medicine community. Simple tests prove time and time again that things like ginkgo-balboa are effective in treating heart disease.

Re:Tolda ya so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559768)

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic about the ginko biloba treating heart disease comment, but if you are, you're closer to the truth than you realize.

For example based on the research of Dr. Matthias Rath its been found that by simply increasing one's Vitamin C intake(500mg/day) one can drastically lower one's chances of having heart disease or treat heart disease once its already developed. Thus one can see that alternative medicine as its called can be better than conventional medicine.

For more info check here [dr-rath-research.org] .

dr-rath-research.org? (0)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559925)

I am wary of anyone who slips their title or degree into their domain name...

Re:dr-rath-research.org? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560566)

Like Dr. Ruth?

Re:Tolda ya so (-1)

ElCagado (575762) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559787)

Simple tests prove time and time again that things like ginkgo-balboa are effective in treating heart disease. I thoroughly agree. I often use marijuana to keep my glaucoma at bay.

Research and Development (2, Insightful)

mojorisin67_71 (238883) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559658)

Traditional large companies had large
research funds and researchers had a lot of leeway in the work they performed.

As companies donw-size and cut costs, research
funding decreases and researchers have to do more
research aligned with the company. This
increases the pressure on researchers to generate
results faster.

The research community would have to have safe-guards to safeguard against suprious results.

17 (2, Funny)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559670)

I bought 17 shares of NYSE:LU when it was only $22/share... I figured it couldn't go any lower.

*sigh*

Re:17 (2, Funny)

bafu (580052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559851)

You should buy more! After all, it can't go any lower than this... err

Re:17 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560117)

wow, 17 shares. easy there, big spender, don't put all your eggs in one basket!

Debunkathon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559673)

First Wolfram, then Lucent, we need some positive, confirmed, non-controversial discoveries without any cynical feedback

Re:Debunkathon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559810)

I discovered that the curry I had for lunch was delicious.

Re:Debunkathon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560181)

The classical slashdot well confirmed discovery [goatse.cx] .

One quick comment -- (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559698)

A New Kind of Science Posted by timothy on Tuesday May 21 10 45AM cybrpnk2 writes The story is one of epic proportions Boy genius gets PhD from Cal Tech at age 20 is the youngest recipient ever of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant writes the Mathematica simulation software used by millions of people makes millions of dollars in the process becomes enticed by the seductive lure of the Game of Life and goes into a decade of seclusion to discover the secrets of the universe You can catch up on the resulting speculation and hype here The years of anticipation and publication delays came to an end Tuesday May 14 2002 with Stephan Wolfram s release of his opus A New Kind of Science Read on for cybrpnk2 s review of Wolfram s much heralded work A New Kind Of Science author Stephen Wolfram pages 1197 plus 62 page index publisher Wolfram Media Inc rating 10 reviewer cybrpnk2 ISBN 1 57955 008 8 summary A long awaited treatise that cellular automations not mathematics holds the key to understanding reality First things first have I read this book Hell no and if anybody else says THEY have in the next year they re lying thru their teeth This book is so dense that if Wolfram had added a single additional page the whole thing would have imploded into a black hole That s got to be the only reason he quit writing and finally went to press I ve been waiting for years for ANKOS to come out I ordered my copy Tuesday when it was released got it on Thursday and I ve been skimming it like mad since To give you some idea of how engrossing this book is I was reading it Friday morning at 4 AM in the bathroom of a Motel 6 curled up in a bedspread on the tile floor to keep from disturbing my wife and stepdaughter during a trip to my stepson s graduation I ve got four college degrees one in math and two from MIT and bottom line this sucker s gonna take a while to digest However it s theoretically straightforward enough that anybody with a high enough level of obsession and a few years to stay glued to it can follow it in its entirety In ANKOS Wolfram certainly comes across as arrogantly cocky but in the final analysis is he a crank or a revolutionary genius Who knows but it s going to be a new nerd pastime for the next decade to argue that point ANKOS is 1250 pages divided into 850 pages of breezy exposition followed by 350 pages of fine print notes The exposition is composed of 12 chapters and the notes have about a paragraph per page of topic and name dropping technobabble to let you know where to go next for more details on whichever of Wolfram s tangents strike your fancy Topping the whole thing off is a 60 page index with thousands of entries in even smaller typeface than the notes Despite its length ANKOS is not a rigorous mathematical proof of anything as much as it is a superficial survey of a vast new intellectual landscape And what a landscape Wolfram has laid before us It s all about cellular automations which have traditionally been relegated to the realm of mathematical recreations Start with a black square in the center grid square cell on the top line of a sheet of graph paper Think up a few rules about whether a square gets colored black or white on the next line down depending on the colors of its neighbors Apply these rules to the squares on the next line of the sheet of graph paper Repeat Watch what happens Sounds simple It isn t The first short chapter outlines Wolfram s central thesis That three hundred years of mathematics based on the equals sign have failed to provide true insight into various complex systems in nature and that algorithms based on the DO loop can succeed in this endeavor where mathematics has failed The reason claims Wolfram is that deceptively simple algorithms can produce heretofore undreamed of levels of complexity He claims that while frontier intellectual efforts such as chaos theory fractals AI cybernetics and so forth have hinted at this concept for years his decade of isolation studying cellular automata has taken the idea of simple algorithms or rules embodying universal complexity to the level of a new paradigm The second chapter outlines what Wolfram calls his crucial experiment the systematic analysis of the 256 simplest rule sets for the most basic cellular automatons He discovers this universe of rules is sufficient to produce his four so called classes of complex systems order self similar nested patterns structures and most importantly true randomness The first two lead to somewhat familiar checkerboard type patterns and leaf type fractals the last two unforeseen unique shapes and unpredictable sequences Wolfram stresses that the ability of simple iterative algorithms to produce complex and unique non fractal shapes as well as truly random sequences of output is in fact a revolutionary new discovery with subtle and profound implications The third chapter expands his initial 256 rule set universe of simple algorithms with many others Wolfram has researched for years in the dead of night while others slept Rule sets involving multiple colors beyond black and white rule sets that update only one grid square instead of a whole row rule sets that embody full blown Turing machines rule sets that substitute entire sets of patterned blocks into single grid cells that tag end point grid squares with new patterns that implement registers and symbols Wolfram has examined them all in excruciating detail And no matter how complex the rule set is he explores it ends up generating still more and more unexpected complex behavior with many notable features as the rule sets are implemented This ever escalating spiral of complexity leads Wolfram to believe that cellular automatons are a viable alternative to mathematics in modeling in fact embodying the inherent complexity of the natural world In chapter four he begins this process by linking cellular automatons to the natural world concept of numbers Automatons that multiply and divide that calculate prime numbers and generate universal constants like pi that calculate square roots and even more complex numerical functions like partial differential equations Wolfram details them all Who needs conscious human minds like those of Pythagoras or Newton to laboriously work out over thousands of years the details of things like trigonometry or calculus Set up dominos in just the right way flip the first one and stand back nature can do such calculations automatically efficiently and mindlessly Chapter five broadens the natural scope of cellular automations from one dimensional numbers to multi dimensional entities Simple X Y Cartesian coordinates are left behind as Wolfram defines networks and constraints as the canvas on which updated cellular automatons flourish always generating the ever higher levels of complexity More Turing machines and fractals such as snowflakes and biological cells forming organs spontaneously spring forth So far we ve seen some really neat sleight of hand that Martin Gardner or Michael Barnsley might have written But we re only on page 200 of 850 with seven chapters to go and Wolfram is just now getting warmed up Chapter six is where Wolfram begins to lay the foundation for what he believes is so special about his insights and discoveries Instead of using rigid and fixed initial conditions as the starting points for the cellular automations he has described he now explores what happens using random and unknown initial conditions in each of his previously defined four classes of systems He finds that while previously explored checkerboard Class 1 and fractal Class 2 systems yield few surprises his newly discovered unique Class 3 and random Class 4 cellular automaton systems generate still higher levels of complexity and begin to exhibit behavior that can simulate any of the four classes a telltale hint of universality Furthermore their behavior starts to be influenced by attractors that guide them to structure and self organization With the scent of universality and self organization in the air Wolfram begins in chapter seven to compare and contrast his cellular automations to various real world topics of interest Billiards taffy making Brownian motion casino games the three body problem pachinko machines randomness is obviously a factor in all of these Yet Wolfram notes while randomness is embedded in the initiation and influences the outcomes of each of these processes none of them actually generate true randomness in the course of running the process itself The cellular automations he has catalogued particularly his beloved Rule 30 do The realization that cellular automations can uniquely serve as an initiator or generator of true randomness is a crucial insight leading to the difference between continuity and discreteness and ultimately to the origins of simple behaviors How you ask Hey Wolfram takes most of the chapter to lay it out in a manner that I m still trying to follow no way can I summarize it in a sentence or two By chapter eight Wolfram believes he has laid out sufficient rationale for why you me and everybody else should think cellular automations are indeed the mirror we should be looking in to find true reflections of the world around us Forget the Navier Stokes equations if you want to understand fluid flow you have to think of it as a cellular automation process Ditto for crystal growth Ditto for fracture mechanics Ditto for Wall Street Most definitely ditto for biological systems like leaf growth seashell growth and pigmentation patterns This is very convincing stuff tables of Mathematica generated cellular automation shapes side by side with the photos of corresponding leaves or seashells or pigment patterns found in nature Yes you ve seen this before in all of the fractals textbooks The difference between fractals and cellular automations fractals are a way to mathematically catalog the points that make up the object while cellular automations are a way to actually physically create the object via a growth process It s a somewhat subtle difference and a key Wolfram point Having established some credibility for his ideas Wolfram stretches that credibility to the limit in chapter nine where he applies his cellular automation ideas to fundamental physics It was practically inevitable he would do this his first published paper as a teenager was on particle physics and that s the field he got his PhD in from Cal Tech at age 20 before going on to write the Mathematica software program and make his millions as a young businessman Despite his solid background in physics this seems at first blush to be pretty speculative stuff He shifts his focus on the cellular automations from randomness to reversibility and describes several rule sets that both lead to complexity and are reversible This behavior is an apparent violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics From Wolfram s way of thinking if the universe is indeed some kind of ongoing cellular automation then it may well be reversible and the Second Law must not be the whole story so there must be something more we have yet to learn about the nature of the universe itself He continues extensive speculations on what this may be and how space time gravity relativity and quantum mechanics must all be manifestations of this underlying Universal Cellular Automation The rule set for this ultimate automation which Wolfram believes might ultimately be expressed as only a few lines of code in Mathematica takes the place of a mathematically defined unified field theory in Wolfram s world This is mind blowing stuff but ultimately boils down to Wolfram s opinion I have great difficulty in comprehending space and time and matter and energy as mere manifestations of some cellular automation if so what is left to be the system on which the automation itself is running I m reduced to one of Clarke s Laws The universe is not only stranger than we imagine it is stranger than we CAN imagine Wolfram shifts from Kubrick style religion back to mere philosophy in chapter ten where he explores how cellular automations are perceived by the human mind Visual image perception the human perception of complexity and randomness cryptography data compression statistical analysis and the nature of mathematics as a mental artifact are all explored The chapter ends on a discussion of language and the mechanics of thinking itself Wolfram reaches no real concrete conclusions on any of these except that once again cellular automation is a revolutionary new tool to use in achieving new insights on all of these topics Chapter eleven jumps from the human mind to the machine mind by exploring not the nature of consciousness but the nature of computation instead He goes here into somewhat deeper detail on ideas he has introduced earlier about how cellular automations can perform mathematical calculations emulate other computational systems and act as universal Turing machines He focuses on the implications of randomness in Class 4 systems and the universality embodied in systems like that of his Rule 110 His arguments lead up to a closing realization what he does not call but may one day be named Wolfram s Law The final chapter chapter twelve discusses what all of Wolfram s years of isolation and work have led him to conclude He calls it the Principle of Computational Equivalence What follows is an unavoidably oversimplified distillation of Wolfram s thoughts on the PCE If indeed cellular automations are somehow at the heart of the universe around us then the human effort to reduce the universe to understandable models and formulas and simulations is ultimately doomed to failure Because of the nature of cellular automation computation there is no way to come up with a shortcut method that will deduce the final outcome of a system in advance of it actually running to completion We can currently compute a rocket trajectory or a lens shape or a skyscraper framework in advance using mathematics merely because these are ridiculously simple human efforts New technologies based not on mathematics but instead on cellular automations like wind tunnel simulators and nanobot devices will be exciting technological advances but will not lead to a fundamentally new understanding of nature Issues that humans define as undecidability and intractability will always limit the level of understanding we will ultimately achieve and will always have impacts on philosophical questions such as predestination and free will To conclude with Wolfram s own final paragraph in the book And indeed in the end the PCE encapsulates both the ultimate power and the ultimate weakness of science For it implies that all the wonders of the universe can in effect be captured by simple rules yet it shows that there can be no way to know all the consequences of these rules except in effect just to watch and see how they unfold As noted above 350 pages of notes follow this exposition and trust me there s no way they can be summarized To mention one nugget I found amusing as I envisioned Wolfram working towards endless dawns on ANKOS he thinks sleep has no purpose except to allow removal of built up brain wastes that cannot be removed while conscious So much for dreaming So what is the bottom line on ANKOS It is a towering piece of work and an enduring monument to what a focused and disciplined intellect can achieve It is very thought provoking It will definitely lead to new work and progress on cellular automation theory and some interesting technological applications we should all look forward to with anticipation But is it the next Principia the herald of a new scientific revolution Read and decide for yourself Only time and a lot of it will tell

+5 INSIGHTFUL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559809)

j00 l1k3 w1d3 p4g3s?

Britney (-1, Offtopic)

delphin42 (556929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559702)

Oops! They couldn't do it again.

Lucent! (5, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559759)

You've got some 'splainin' to do!

More info of the fraud (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559805)

This was submitted yesterday to slashdot, but not posted for some reason...

For the past two years, a team at Bell Labs/Lucent, led by a young physicist named Jan Hendrik Schon [lucent.com] , has published a dizzying array of groundbreaking work in the field of solid-state physics, which has previously
inspired discussions at Slashdot,
here [slashdot.org]
and here. [slashdot.org]
However, as reported tonight in Science [sciencemag.org] (look under
the "ScienceNow" link), and I'm sure soon in Nature, it may all be a fraud. It looks like Schon has used identical data curves for very different experiments in different papers. The scale of the deception is enormous--there are duplicated graphs in at least 5, and as many as 20, papers. The fallout from this will be huge, not just for Lucent, but for the physics community as a whole, as a large number of these papers made it through the review process at the two most prestigious journals in the natural sciences, Science and Nature.

For a comparison of two plots from two seperate papers about two seperate experiments with remarbably similar data, check out here here [blogspot.com] . Scroll down to thursday may 16...

impacting

Re:More info of the fraud (1)

br0ck (237309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560440)

Godless Capitalist [blogspot.com] has followed up the post you referenced by pointing out that a committee has been formed [nytimes.com] . This was mentioned earlier [slashdot.org] , but the Times article seems more informative and names the high profile members of the committee. .

Use this link [majcher.com] to automatically generate a login and view the article.

I can't figure out what his motive could be. Like Godless mentioned, he was destined to be found out when engineers attempted to create products. I wonder if he was trying to gain riches or fame, or if (unlikely) he believed so much in the new technology that he wanted to see it attempted even if he had to fudge some results.

Re:More info of the fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560536)

> I can't figure out what his motive could be.
> Like Godless mentioned, he was destined to be
> found out when engineers attempted to create
> products. I wonder if he was trying to gain
> riches or fame, or if (unlikely) he believed so

I personally know this guy, and I don't have the slightest doubt that all his reports are entirely based on empirical grounds. He's an extraordinary scientist, his interests in physics are plain genuine. He's just curious and smart like hell, and he has no mundane ambitions whatsoever.

The Lucent team is currently working non-stop to redo the key experiments, but given the complexity of the research this will take a while. One can only hope that the damage to their reputation will not be irrevocable by the time they can publish the results of the replication studies. I also hope that the bastard who inititated this slander will get sued badly.

Similar Data, but not Unexpectedly So. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560675)

I'd like to point out that the graphs which are posted on this site are quite obviously not a reuse of material. This S-shaped curve is the signature of a transistor of this type. It's what they do. It's what they're made for. It's no wonder that they're so similar.

If you look carefully at the two graphs, you'll see variances between the curves which indicate to me that they are clearly not the same information. Look between 0 and -3 on the horizontal axis of the first graph and between 0 and -0.5 on the horizontal axis of the second graph. In the first graph, the curve takes a slight, smooth upwards slope before hitting the falling edge. In the second graph, the curve makes a slightly jagged gradual downward slope into the falling edge without moving above the y-intecept's value. Also, if you look carefully at the graphs after the falling edge, you can see variance in the noise. Anyone with good attention to detail can see that these aren't the same graph.

Furthermore, the mislabelling of the y-axis in the second graph with an anomalous -0.2 instead of -2.0 may indeed mean that it was hand-labelled. However, this is in itself not evidence of fraud. Perhaps he did not use the labelling features of the software that generated the graph because he preferred the appearance of one done by hand. He obviously spent some time docotoring the appearance to get those nice circuit diagrams placed in the graphs.

Despite what the author of that article says, it's just not conclusive proof of tampering at all. While Dr. Schon may have lied and reused data between experiments, it's pretty clear from looking at them that these two graphs are an example of where he did so.

They just need to do a demo (3, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559839)

It's too bad these researchers are meeting so much skepticism. I'm sure they could prove their results if they would just pull out their single-molecule transistors and show them in action. Unfortunately, I bet that somebody just dumped the molecules into a desk drawer, and now they're hopelessly lost amongs the crumbs, dust and fuzzies at the bottom of the drawer...

Re:They just need to do a demo (1)

bafu (580052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559972)

As you might imagine, those single-molecule transistors are very easy to misplace... ;-)

Of course, anyone who has seen how a company can fake a nonworking demo is probaby content to wait for the outside review anyway... :-P

This news just in.... (2, Funny)

eyegor (148503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559930)

New York
(API) - Lucent Technologies today admitted that in addition to errors in recent breakthrough technologies, they have found that major technologies they have been selling for years are apparently impossible. "It's the damnedest thing" said Bob Sharp who is the head of Consumer Technologies, "The whole notion of data communications over fiber is based on something someong just made up without checking to see if it was possible. We plan to cease offering these technologies until we can figure out to make it work."

Bob Dobbs, the Senior Vice-President of Internet Operations at UUNET Technologies expressed concern: "They've been charging us out the wazoo for the past few years for something that apparently doesn't even work. Our legal team is currently negotiating terms of a full refund".

In the meantime, major Internet providers are scrambling to build out their network infrastructure to support CPIP (an recent biology-based transmission protocol) in accordance with RFC1149.

Lucent stock dipped slightly at the news, but investors express full confidence that things would work out in time.

Weeee!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3559931)

How much you wanna bet Hyperchip will start using these single molecule transistors in their... oh wait a minute, they have no product either!

no suprise (3, Insightful)

greenrom (576281) | more than 12 years ago | (#3559962)

This sort of thing really shouldn't be much of a suprise at a company like Lucent. Since the telecom winter started, they've slashed half of their workforce, and have been closing facilities right and left. You can bet that any research project that wasn't getting results got cut. This puts a lot of pressure on the researchers, and some will inevitably be willing to falsefy data in order to keep their jobs.

I'd be skeptical of any research done by Lucent in the last year, or at any other company with such serious financial problems.

Newsbreak (5, Funny)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560031)


...but physicists are voicing suspicions about the figures, portions of which seem almost identical even though the labels are different. Particularly puzzling is the fact that one pair of graphs show the same pattern of "noise," which should be random.

Lucent scientists today reported the remarkable discovery that, contrary to conventional wisdom and accepted scientific theory noise isn't random. Said one researcher, "We'd expected self-similarity, due to the fractal nature of noise, but this is amazing!"

Researchers estimate that there are actually less than a dozen examples of true noise, which are repeated endlessly through out nature. Some observers have expressed concerns over the fact that most, if not all of them are already copywritten by the RIAA.

-- MarkusQ

Value of research. (3, Interesting)

Restil (31903) | more than 12 years ago | (#3560270)

From what I can tell, this should mostly be an in-house issue. Let's say that these discoveries are frauds. That means they won't ever be used in applications, and Lucent will lose out. If no other scientists are able to replicate the process, then they won't be able to reap the benefits of it either. There is a REASON for this peer review. And it seems to be working. There are many possible reasons why things are turning out like they are, fraud being one of them.

However, its possible that the procedures involved are not trivial. Its also possible that either the procedures involved to produce or the procedures involved to confirm the findings are in error. Observing a single molecule is NOT trivial. It's certainly possible to think you've got what you were looking for, when in fact it sometimes takes another pair of unbiased eyes to take a different approach and discover that all is not what it appears to be.

I'm not saying this isn't outright fraud. The only problem is, what does it benefit anyone? If the scientist involved was pocketing all the research cash and running with it, I could understand. But if the research is legitimate, and nobody is able to actually profit from any of this without a working prototype in a useful medium, which may take up to 10 more years to produce, fraud would serve little purpose except give a black eye to the researchers AND Lucent.

-Restil

OK to be wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3560364)

I'd say that most of what gets published in the scientific literature is either wrong or seriously misleading. Specifically, almost any article you look at is going to conclude things that are not true. Often even the experimental results are not reproducible. The thing is, most of the time the investigator's are very careful to be sure that no one can prove that they are intentionally wrong. What makes this case interesting is that the investigator was so spectacularly careless as to include things in the papers that could be proved to be intentionally wrong.

I think the solution to the whole business is to get away from the whole "publication counting" model of accumulating scientific knowledge and to move to a more interactive database system where the priority is on truth rather than playing the career advancement game. The goal would be to have a system where the goal was to get the right answer instead of getting the wrong answer for the "right" reasons.

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