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Elements 116 and 118 are Bogus?

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the fraudium-hoaxium dept.

Science 322

prostoalex writes "In this era of corporate misbehavior and overstatement of results who can you trust? Scientific sources, of course. Well, turns out people at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory lied about their discovery of elements 116 and 118. Associated Press has the story, quoting the lab officials charging the researchers with "scientific misconduct"."

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55 + 20 = 15 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887939)

THat's when I get fp

Cherish my balls asn thogh they were lost children

Re:55 + 20 = 15 (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888057)

You know what else is totally bogus? Two posts a day is totally bogus!

And I should know, because I have the novelization of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, bitches!

Attention K-Mart Shoppers... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887945)

I am in charge here...

-cyborg_monkey.. banned but not forgotten.

what? (-1, Redundant)

mlarios (212290) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887946)

you mean I learned the table of elements for nothing?! this is just like that "duck and cover" crap.

Re:what? (-1)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888015)

they sure did teach you homosexuality correctly

1st Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887948)

1st Post

Re:1st Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888086)

You were not first, but you smell like poop.

IP? (0, Offtopic)

PhranQ (219913) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887949)

Soon there will be Intellectual Property pending on these too :-(

Newsflash: Microsoft claims to "own" Carbon.. (2, Funny)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888043)

Microsoft has claimed the patent and IP on the element Carbon. This in effect stomps out two things.
It makes it so that Microsoft owns everyone, BUT they are only going to charge 1/1000c per year to use each carbon atom. This means that each person only owes a million or so a year. This also helps them control the judges, as they can now technically "own" them too.

A smaller note: now they can sue apple for using the name "carbon" for their OS products.

Re:Newsflash: Microsoft claims to "own" Carbon.. (2)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888218)

Fortunately, God has come forward with "prior art" on the carbon atom, but declined to testify, citing the immediate death of any present.

First P0st (-1, Offtopic)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887950)

For my 2-post-a-day brothers, Ja!

Re:First P0st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888100)

Turds smell like poop. Good for you.

Just one person (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887955)

Why does the story submitter say "people" and "the researchers" when the AP story clearly states that the fabrication was done by one person?

Re:Just one person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887970)

because the editor's do not RTFA either.

Re:Just one person (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887985)

You should know by now that no one ever reads the story before posting

Re:Just one person (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888005)

because one bad apple in the crop would cause slashdot to reject the story. in order to gain acceptance, one must artificially manipulate the number of bad apples, just like that one bad apple artificially manipulated the lab results.

Re:Just one person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888065)

jeezer peezer. moderators: by "apples" he was refering to "researchers". the post was meant to be funny. ya know, laughter, humour? any of this ring a bell?

Re:Just one person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888103)

Moderators kill babies for sport. They do not understand humor the way we do.

Re:Just one person (4, Informative)

martissimo (515886) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888016)

Well considering that much of the problem is not just the one physicists bogus claims, but the fact that the rest of the people involved at the laboratory obviously neglected to verify his claims...

i'd say it's pretty safe to use the plural version

Re:Just one person (-1, Troll)

Marque_Off (589454) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888097)

I just this sinking feeling prior earnings may have check their results before announcing anything, but its not a way to be "missing" actually. Like gaps in afternoon trading, while the paper in question... I was no research studies which "used" these elements... :)

At least get screwed... I thought that belated honesty is better than none at least I didn't like they should have in there have to patent the article it doesn't like they had found them, when they really big trust issue here... The scientists rechecked there claims... where's the head researcher vigorously denied rumors that pretty much funding Choctonium.

I will now have check their results before announcing anything, but its not a quick read of the name anyway. Oh, that's just this case! From a subatomic physicist... I have to be eliminated from nestle.

Re:Just one person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888155)

oh, dont be surprised. the slashdot editors do about as much fact checking as that one researcher.

i've got some (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887958)

I made it last night while I was high

Anyone wanna buy my 117 stock? (5, Funny)

Bigger R (131370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887968)

I have this sinking feeling prior earnings may have been overstated...

And in related news... (5, Funny)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887974)

And in related news... Element 142 nicknamed CowboyNealium has been discovered by a crack team of wallruses in antarctica.

Re:And in related news... (2)

idfrsr (560314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888089)


...
-"I am here in antarctica talking to Dr. Bull, of the CowboyNeal Institute of Elementary Physics.
Dr. Bull, how is it that you were able to discover such a difficult element in a locale with such harsh conditions."

- "Well, CoyboyNealium is only producable in the right conditions of thousands and thousands of clicking mice in a locale full of penguins..."

Re:And in related news... (5, Funny)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888134)

Um, you need to learn the difference between "crack team" and "crack-smoking team". Those two phrases have very different meanings.

Is it possible.... (3, Interesting)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887978)

Is it possible for elements to be "missing" actually. Like gaps in the chart? Do there have to be continuous numbers? Or can you count them ... 114, 115, 117, 119???
I am not a really big physics person, but I thought that there would be a way to put the extra proton in there and throw in an electron to make a heavier one...
Also, how did they mess it up in "Thinking" that they had found them, when they really hadn't? Again I am not a subatomic physicist, so this could be a stupid question..

Re:Is it possible.... (5, Informative)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888019)

These elements are extremely short lived. You can't keep them around and poke at them until you're sure of what they are. You can just look at the tracks in the bubble chamber and see if you can construct what that lead nucleus used to be a microsecond ago.

Technically, no. (2)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888022)

Every space in the Periodic Table should have a corresponding element. However, these elements may not occur in nature (eg. Technetium) or may have infinitesimally short half-lives (eg. most atomic numbers > about 100).

Re:Is it possible.... (5, Insightful)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888048)

Is it possible for elements to be "missing" actually. Like gaps in the chart? Do there have to be continuous numbers? Or can you count them ... 114, 115, 117, 119???

The atomic number is just the number of protons in the atom, so you could in principle build all of them without gaps.

However, you can have gaps between stable (or almost-stable) elements, with only very-unstable elements in between. That's the whole idea of the "magic island of stability" mentioned in the articles.

Even-numbered heavy elements also tend to be more stable than odd-numbered elements (as even-numbered nuclei tend to be more energetically favourable, and there's an easy decay path that turns odd nuclei into even ones [beta decay]).

Re:Is it possible.... (3, Informative)

prof187 (235849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888056)

If my memory of science serves me right, which it could very possibly not, one of the earliest periodic tables had many gaps. They were just assuming that there would be elements to fill in those empty spots, and amazingly (for that early of science), they were correct.

Re:Is it possible.... (2)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888060)

If memory serves the numbers are continuous, but the actual element at the number may not be producable (because other atomic structures are more desirable). Or more likely they are producable, but only in very specific conditions, by spending alot of energy, and even then they won't exist very long before decaying into something more stable.

Look on the bright side (2, Funny)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887979)

At least they didn't go shredding atoms.... [rimshot]

Looks as though they at least get the message that belated honesty is better than none at all.

first post --- hahahahaha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887981)

First Post for me!!!! Hahahahahaha

Re:first post --- hahahahaha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888008)

More like eighth, Numbnuts

Re:first post --- hahahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888037)

No, that was probably the first post for HIM as he stated, asshat.

Well.. (2, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887984)

I just hope there was no research studies which "used" these elements... :)

This is terrible news! (2, Funny)

jjohn (2991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887990)

I just ordered a new case for my dual Athlon Linux box made of Ununhexium [webelements.com] with Ununoctium [webelements.com] details! Man did I get screwed...

Re:This is terrible news! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888106)

Lucky for me, my Unobtainium case arrived yesterday. :)

Trust? (3, Insightful)

zebs (105927) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887992)

From a quick read of the article it doesn't like there's any big trust issue here...

The scientists rechecked there data and retracted there claims... where's the cover up? Isn't that pretty much normal in the scientific community?

(Ok... maybe they should have check their results before announcing anything, but its not like they denied anything or blatantly lied!)

Re:Trust? (5, Informative)

marauder404 (553310) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888173)

Which article did you read? There are two articles linked in the Slashdot blurb. The first article [lbl.gov] links to the original announcement of the discovery dated June 7, 1999. In that article, there's a link to the retraction [lbl.gov] , dated July 27, 2001. Today, July 15, 2002, there's an article [yahoo.com] reporting that the original discovery wasn't a discovery at all. It was fabricated data and the announcement was intentionally done based on fake information. That is fraud. That's a trust issue.

Had the original announcement was a discovery that they believed was based on real, bona fide data, that would be different -- just part of the normal scientific discovery process.

Old News (5, Informative)

Townshend (130057) | more than 12 years ago | (#3887997)

This is not new news at all, in fact Berkeley scientists retracted their paper back in 2001. Here is a link: http://enews.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/118- retraction.html [lbl.gov] .

Re:Old News (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888042)

The news is not the retraction, but that the false signal was due to deliberate fabrication of the data rather than to a misinterpretation of "honest" data.

Re:Old News (0)

klep (26544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888148)

Or they read the poll comments yesterday: noble gas poll [slashdot.org]

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3887999)

I was going to patent the ununhexium-ununoctium alloy. I didn't like the name anyway.

This guy is going to be pissed... (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888010)

Angry Woodworker [mathpuzzle.com]

Here is the /. [slashdot.org] story.

Re:This guy is going to be pissed... (2)

sporty (27564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888149)

Uh.. the elements are just tops to containers... they can be moved around :P

In related news.... (4, Funny)

billbaggins (156118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888011)

Stock in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory plummeted in afternoon trading, while the head researcher vigorously denied rumors that Arthur Andersen had provided proofreading services for the paper in question...

Why are these elements? (1)

prof187 (235849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888014)

Within less than a millisecond after its creation, the element 118 nucleus decays by emitting an alpha particle...

Why are these even elements, I mean, how can you even be sure of what you have in a millisecond. I guess they weren't.

Re:Why are these elements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888096)

in high energy physics, a particle having a millisecond lifetime would be considered stable!

New table of elements (2, Funny)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888024)

Despite much funding from nestle:

Choctonium:
Atomic Number: 118
Atomic Weight: Delicious

will now have to be eliminated from the table.

Re:New table of elements (1)

schon (31600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888169)

Despite much funding from nestle:

Choctonium:
Atomic Number: 118
Atomic Weight: Delicious


Actually, that was Oscar-Meyer; The element with the atomic weight of "Delicious" was Bolognium.

Re:New table of elements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888183)

Not so for Oscar Meyer, whose own sponsored element Bolognium features the same Atomic Weight (and has an isotope of 'Snacktacular', if i'm not mistaken...)

Re:New table of elements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888201)

What about Turbonium from Volkswagen? They even promoted it with a (cool, IMO) poster showing a swirling atomic "cloud" of VW Beetles.

X-Files (1)

fishlet (93611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888030)

Havn't ya learned your lesson-
"Trust No One"

reminds me of the cold-fusion scam that happened a few years back too.

bullonium revived buy whiff of prison cells (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888031)

just in from wall street of deceit:

after sinking 400pts today on volume of 1.5 billyun shares, the FraUDuleNT NYSE recouped over 300 pts. on trading of LESS than 100mm shares. talk about bookFUDging.

see you in the fuddy paypers george/bill.

bad news for science? (-1, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888034)

I can't help thinking that Slashdot, as a bastion of pro-Scientific sentiment, is doing Science a disservice by publishing this story.

Since the attacks of 11 September, there has been an incredible surge in the allegience to "faith" (a general term that encompasses everything from Tarot cards to Christianity to astronomy). Science has weathered the storm--barely--as attacks have come one after another, from left and right alike.

What Science needs most of all right now is credibility. Now is not the time to admit the fallibility of Science. In a few years, when people have learned once again to trust Scientists, then we can tell them about these embarrassing mistakes. Until then, we risk plunging Western civilization into another Dark Age.

Re:bad news for science? (3, Insightful)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888116)

Erm... Maybe I'm daft, but I can't tell if you're kidding here. The strength of science is that it does not require faith. It actually becomes more reliable when faced with scrutiny.

Re:bad news for science? (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888119)

> What Science needs most of all right now is credibility.

How on EARTH does science need credibility? Shit, even the missionaries wouldn't have been able to cross the water and do their (stupid/arrogant) thing without science. Anyone even reading this story is using something that relies on more than 1000 years of disiplined, reproducable science in order to function.

People can be irrational. End of story. It's not about building a stronger case for any particular ideology, its about dispelling and eradicating irrationality, IMHO.

Re:bad news for science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888125)

So... what you're suggesting is making science look like it has no problems. We are just to accept whatever comes out of the scientific community, no matter how foolish it might seem. Is it just me... or is this "Faith" in science?

Oh, and this is the single stupidest thing I've ever heard. "Hide the truth from people so that they don't come and take away our computers!"

Moron.

Re:bad news for science? (4, Insightful)

dev0n (313063) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888151)

I think that this story PROVES the credibility of science.

In June 1999, scientists at Berkeley discovered 2 new elements.

The scientists and other members of the scientific community attempted to reproduce these elements.

They couldn't.

In July 2001, Berkeley's claims were retracted.

So what if it turns out that one scientist or a group of scientists did something wrong? The point here is that they didn't get away with it. The scientific process is WORKING.

IMHO, of course. :)

Re:bad news for science? (1)

schnitzi (243781) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888196)

I can't believe someone would hold such a ridiculous point of view. You would fight ignorance and dishonesty with ignorance and dishonesty. That is the recipe for bringing back the Dark Ages.

However much mileage the forces of darkness might get from parading around the mistakes that scientists find in their own work, it is far worse when THEY discover mistakes that we've been hiding.

Re:bad news for science? (2)

plover (150551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888217)

So you'd prefer a coverup instead?

Let's avoid debate over the question of whether or not Joe Sixpack has "faith" in "Science"; I simply think no-one will have "faith" in an organization involved in a coverup. Announcing the error is all that can be done.

Covering it up is how crap like Enron and Worldcom happen in the first place.

Gasp! (2)

4of12 (97621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888035)

Oh, no!

Wasn't one of those elements up for being named "Bullonium" or "Baloneyum"?

Didn't also figure prominently in the list of ingredients required to initiate cold fusion?

Correct Element Names (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888036)

So what you're really saying is that they HAVE discovered Unobtanium and Younoseeum!

they really should have caught this (1)

douglas jeffries (585519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888041)

the most elementary checks and data archiving were not done

while they have to trust their employees to some degree, they should have at least verified that > 1 person had seen valid results before announcing success. it sounds like they didn't even ask him for much documentation. i'd say the lab is at fault too, not just the untruthful individual.

What about peer review? (1)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888049)

What ever happened to the notion of skepticism in science? I mean, if a science team claims something new, novel or unexpected, the scientific community turns it's attention to disproving that claim -- picking it apart, looking for mistakes and/or weaknesses. You mean to tell me that noone else has ever tried to find elements 116 or 118? I am truly shocked!

You know, now that I think about it element 119, CmdrTacoium, sounds a little funny, too.

Re:What about peer review? (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888144)

The original retraction last July mentioned that the confirming experiments hadn't come through. The peer review process does work, yes.

Only on element 118? (2, Funny)

azadrozny (576352) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888051)

I create element 120 in my kitchen sink. Look for my research to be published next month. I plan to call it slashdotium.

Re:Only on element 118? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888215)

A substance so dense it causes web servers to crash in it's presence, a.k.a. the Slashdot effect.

When will they learn? (5, Funny)

Helmholtz Coil (581131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888053)

Very silly to pin the blame on one individual in the research group. Don't these guys read? Don't they know disgruntled physicists, especially when they're disgraced atomic/nuclear scientists, always come back as super-villains to wreak their vengeance on their enemies and an unsuspecting world?

How long before their suspect builds himself an atomic-powered titanium alloy suit with miniature particle accelerator blasters?

Gold (1)

ThereIsNoSporkNeo (587688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888054)

D'mmit! Was that the Berkeley Lab?
I bought my "Lead to Gold" recipe from there!
I knew it was too good to be true...

Yet another "Get Rich Quick" scheme fades into a "Fade into Poverty" failure...

Scientific Misconduct? (1)

big_groo (237634) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888055)

"The heavy element research fraud is a stinging embarrassment for the lab."

How about a public dipping of their genitals in 5M HCl thrice daily for one week.

Now *thats* stinging embarrassment.

Don't blink (1, Insightful)

enigma971 (593043) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888062)

Maybe someone can educate me. Why should I care that another element existed for an instant? It's been a long time since my last chemistry class so maybe I've forgotten some things. It just doesn't seem like very useful research.

Re:Don't blink (1)

happyhippy (526970) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888145)

All atoms have life spans. Some are absurdly long like the hydrogen atom. Some are short.

Re:Don't blink (1)

enigma971 (593043) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888214)

And therefore, since hydrogen atoms have a longer lifespan, they can be used. What is the usefulness of something that only exists of a split second? I'm not going for troll points here (like someone thought), I'm just looking for the purpose of this research. If there is something that can be done with these elements, or if they lead to something useful, then it's a good thing.

Mmm... (2, Funny)

writermike (57327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888070)

Krabappel:"Who can tell me the atomic weight of bolognium?"

Martin: "Delicious?"

Krabappel: "Correct. I would also accept snacktacular."

Retracted last July? (3, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888071)

From the retraction in the original publication:
The team of Berkeley Lab scientists that announced two years ago the observation of what appeared to be Element 118 -- heaviest undiscovered transuranic element at the time -- has retracted its original paper after several confirmation experiments failed to reproduce the results.
That was dated July of 2001 if I remember right.

So they said they'd found something, but the confirming experiments didn't come through. They've retracted their claim. That's pretty much how it works. Seems like you can still trust science, precisely because of stories like this. Right?

Re:Retracted last July? (2)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888188)

The issue is that after they retracted last year one member of the lab was found to have forged the results. The news here is the misconduct, not the fact that the elements doesn't exist.

Whats the largest stable atom? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888079)

When i was in highschool, doing physics, my teacher once said something that interested me. He sid that tho atoms got unstable the larger they became, there was a magic atom ~120 or something that theoretically was stable, hung around for as long as atoms br Has this proved so? Was my teacher talking out of his ass?

Re:Whats the largest stable atom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888113)

RTFA

Interesting... (3, Funny)

thewheeze (466050) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888085)

So when should I expect to see the girls of Lawrence Berkley issue of Playboy?

OH NO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888108)

You mean no more bullshitium sandwiches????!!!

element names (5, Interesting)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888118)

Maybe they announced their 'discovery' because they thought they were close to really producing the element, but did not want to let some other country (probably Russia or England) discovering it first and thus getting naming rights. There have historically been fights about who discovered what element first because everyone wants to get a chance to name an element in the periodic table.

So Spamnium doesn't exist? (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888120)

damn, it was nice to know my block of spam was pure spiced ham instead of a compound (of entrails and hooves)...ah well

Story on 118 is old news (1)

Roosey (465478) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888122)

The story on Element 118 (ununoctium) has already made an appearance [slashdot.org] at Slashdot. I'm pretty sure the invalidation of 116 is new, though.

Remember, ununoctium decomposes into un-ununoctium in the presence of international scrutiny. :]

ScienceWire(SW) Press Release: (2)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888135)

ScienceWire(SW) Press Release:

ScienceWire has learned that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (DOE:LBNL) is under investigation from the Nobel Physics Committee regarding possible fraud with respect to the existence of Elements 116 and 118.

Lab director, Beef Shank, is "shocked, shocked, I tell you" that fabrication of research went on under his watch. "We have since fired Arthur Anderson from our peer review committee, and have commenced an aggressive investigation in concert with the Nobel Committee, and intend to release our findings when the facts come to light. No further comment."

The individual singled out by Shank, but not identified by him [what the fuck? sometimes satire writes itself -- Editor], was identified by several newspapers as fired physicist and author Victor Nabokov.

Nabokov was suspended by the lab in November, later fired, and has a grievance pending regarding his dismissal for writing books about a quest for an island of stability in a sea of daughter radioisotopes with short half-lives.

Shank lauded his own department for ferreting out the fraud. "There is nothing more important for a laboratory than scientific integrity," Shank told lab employees. "Only with such integrity will the Congress, which funds our work, provide us with more grant money. On the bright side, at least we can conclusively say that we've found at least two candidates for the element Unobtainium."

LBNL stock found no such stability, closing down almost 70% today, to $1.14 (US protons), or $1.84 (Euro neutrons), on heavy volume.

future jobs for Ninov in A. Anderson nuclear accou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888141)

From the AP article..

"The individual singled out by Shank, but not identified by him, was identified by several newspapers as fired physicist Victor Ninov.

"Ninov was suspended by the lab in November, later fired and has a grievance pending regarding his dismissal..."


Arthur Anderson would love to talk to him! Apparently the Wall St. Journal found a videotape advertisement feating Dick Cheney touting Ninov's nuclear accounting practices.

Do as George W. says, but not as he does! That's the American Way(tm)!

financial reprecussions... (1)

feldkamp (146657) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888143)

Once news of this scandal broke out on Wall Street, the atomic number of Strontium (NASDAQ: SR) plumeted from a healthy 38 to a pitiful, yet brightly burning 12.

In other news... (2)

gillbates (106458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888159)

Several engineering companies are distraught over learning that discoveries of the super-strong, super-light element known as Unobtanium were falsified as well.Unobtanium was reportedly discovered by the marketing departments of several prominent firms, but the discoveries were never confirmed by actual engineers.

Really? (1)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888168)

My array elements 116 and 118 seem to work fine for me

This works fine?
printf("%s\n",string[116]);
printf("%s\n",string[118]);

Maybe I'm missing something here

Misleading Intro (1)

ScannerBoy (174488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888172)

Way to go /. with its stupid intros....They din't LIE about it, it was unverifiable upon subsiquent tests. Quoted from the article: "Science is self-correcting," Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank said. "If you get the facts wrong, your experiment is not reproducible. In this case, not only did subsequent experiments fail to reproduce the data, but also a much more thorough analysis of the 1999 data failed to confirm the events. There are many lessons here, and the lab will extract all the value it can from this event."" GG /.

In related news... (1, Troll)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888175)

Nasa has announced a lawsuit naming the two elements as accomplices in aiding the rouge Moon Rock's [slashdot.org] escape from this country. Further news can be found on "http://www.nasa.gov/moonrockgonebad.html". This page may have been removed due to the pending lawsuit.

Happens all the time (3, Interesting)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888180)

Preachers arnt the only ones that can be caught with their pants down.

Case in point: My mother worked for a university (I'll save them face, because I'm sure it happens at every university) where her co-worker had faked his PHD, and was working on bogus research. All results faked. He didn't have a clue what he was doing.

Okay, no problem, you say .. somebody finds out, and he's gone, right? Nope. How do you think a university feels about having to answer to the fact that nobody actually _checked_ his PHD with the university he got it from? Pretty badly. So when my mother reported him, the university told her to shut up or find another job.

A few years later, they found a way of quietly dismissing him on legit grounds. Its all about vested interest - it makes these schools look stupid to admit that they dont have the time/money (nevermind that trust is still important, IMHO) to cross-check every single research project and prof they hire.

It's an unfortunate consequence of life - some people scam, and sometimes the scammed party wants to keep the details silent (having been sexually abused, its the same deal - you feel (wrongly) stupid for being the victim, although with the university, alot more than my pride is involved .. ie, lots of money and reputations).

Anyhow, dont think this is an isolated case. Take everything with a grain of salt, considering the money and prestige involved in the stakes of science, until its powering your coffee-maker.

Hello by poopbot (-1)

pwpbot (588025) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888190)

Introduction

A fairy gives lectures on morality to the feline anomaly. Furthermore, another photon near an abstraction takes a coffee break, and a mortician buries a blithe spirit. The wedding dress secretly admires a college-educated ball bearing. If the freight train figures out a fire hydrant near a pit viper, then some mating ritual beyond another cowboy reads a magazine. Any squid can find lice on a freight train, but it takes a real recliner to ostensibly plan an escape from another pit viper defined by a prime minister a cough syrup toward a graduated cylinder.

Another mating ritual

For example, a blood clot about a turn signal indicates that a financial bartender borrows money from a warranty. When a demon is imaginative, a paper napkin secretly admires an often snooty graduated cylinder. If the grain of sand learns a hard lesson from the short order cook behind some graduated cylinder, then another blithe spirit flies into a rage. Any pig pen can lazily require assistance from a burly plaintiff, but it takes a real fighter pilot to caricature the steam engine over a satellite. Another eagerly temporal minivan slyly buries the obsequious squid, or a briar patch usually gives lectures on morality to a cyprus mulch.

A gratifying fairy

Sometimes another cashier reads a magazine, but the fraction for the cyprus mulch always buries a power drill toward the demon! The light bulb befriends a satellite of an apartment building. A lazily Alaskan roller coaster sanitizes another mitochondrial traffic light, or some burglar eats a hesitantly smelly plaintiff. For example, a seldom righteous traffic light indicates that an ocean knows some chestnut inside the tabloid. If the earring somewhat finds subtle faults with a pine cone, then the wheelbarrow hibernates.

The cocker spaniel about the salad dressing

For example, the umbrella toward an abstraction indicates that the dolphin near a ball bearing caricatures a girl scout near some diskette. A cocker spaniel for the judge reads a magazine, and a pine cone finds subtle faults with a rattlesnake. Furthermore, the hairy movie theater returns home, and a grizzly bear near a paycheck is a big fan of a childlike burglar. For example, a canyon living with a graduated cylinder indicates that the industrial complex buries a jersey cow.

Conclusions

A squid around a jersey cow meditates, and another nation sweeps the floor; however, a scooby snack knowingly finds subtle faults with an apartment building living with another chain saw. When a hockey player around a paycheck is smelly, a minivan has a change of heart about an oil filter about an asteroid. The bartender around a polygon is barely soggy. Indeed, another rattlesnake befriends a warranty. Indeed, the carpet tack for an abstraction usually caricatures an elusive h

- posted by poopbot: lovely snot! wonderful snot!

ZwO1PbSTcd

Oh? (1)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888193)

Gives my new .sig a whole new meaning...

Scientific Reputation. (3)

zCyl (14362) | more than 12 years ago | (#3888205)

Fortunately, science already has systems in place to handle conditions like this. The same mechanism, science's dependency on reputation, which sometimes temporary mislabels new research as a crackpot idea, does an excellent job of protecting the integrity of science as a whole. Since he has been shown guilty by his peers, if Victor Ninov can't find a way to clear his name, he will have a hard time ever publishing work again. And no work he does publish will ever be taken for granted.

Science requires trust to operate, he broke it, and science kicked him out of the game.

As for the title "Elements 116 and 118 are bogus", the elements aren't bogus, this just means they weren't seen that time. It would be extremely surprising if 116 and 118 didn't exist, since very well supported theories show they are there and predict some of their properties.

I invented a new gas element last night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3888206)

I ate 9 tacos with lots of hot sauce...the gas eminating from my butt was quite noble. I need help in naming my gaseous discovery.
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