I have to be careful in commenting regarding the above news story. I am not an expert in this field but I do understand basics and have friends who are experts. I have read the paper (actually the original much debated ArXiv article posted few months, that article was never published or retracted. This new one seems to be the revised article of the same paper - still not published). I have also read a lot of questions posed by other scientists and there is lot of discussion going on about this on many different platforms - including some social media).
Anyway allow me to post some of my perspective. As said before, I may turn out to be wrong but this is what I think at present. These concerns are being shared with the authors and if I will hear from them or some new update I will post them here. This , of course, assumes that this thread does not get derailed by our familiar troll as it was done before.
(I will only use initials for scientists, as people in the field will know who they are. Again let me make it clear, PLEASE TAKE IT FOR WHATEVER its worth. Criticism of any scientist or institution described here should NOT be taken seriously as these are my views only - based sometimes on speculation. I will be happy if parts, which turns out to be wrong, are corrected).
It may seem unfair as I am posting anonymously here in a thread with possibly one sided arguments - Only thing I can say here that I will correct anything posted here which I thing turns out to be wrong. Meanwhile I ask you to remember what I post here is true to best of my knowledge but I may be wrong in repeating something.
***With that disclaimer, I think DOUBTS and criticism of Prof AP's team (and IISc) is not put to rest. Far from it. At least I have doubt.
Finally, IISc team confirms breakthrough in superconductivity at room temperature
Putting to rest all doubts and criticism, a team led by Prof. Anshu Pandey from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru confirms that their material exhibits major properties of superconductivity at ambient temperature and pressure. A material is said to be a superconductor if it conducts electricity with nil resistance to the flow of electrons. Superconductors will help build very high efficient devices leading to huge energy savings. Till now, scientists have been able to make materials superconduct only at temperatures much below zero degree C and hence making practical utility very difficult.
The manuscript has been sent to a journal for publication and the first level of reviewing by editors has been completed. It is currently undergoing technical review by peer-reviewers. “We hope it will be published soon,” Prof. Ghosh says.
Will be one of the most significant discovery when confirmed.
The arxiv paper, for those who are interested, is here:https://arxiv.org/pdf/1807.08572.pdf
- This paper seems to be just an updated version of the old (much criticized) paper. The old paper, which I thought would be retracted by IISc, did not get retracted (but it wasn't published either). This new version, it seems, at least to me, does NOT answer some of the questions others asked, it represents the same data + some additional data. The "raw" version of old data - requested by other scientists (including Indian Scientists) is still not there (just the graphs). No one, at least AFAIK, has been able to "reproduce" the data.
- It seem STRANGE to me, that for a feature of the data that is so controversial, they didn't just take new data. (Why not present new measurements of the magnetic susceptibility? Looks like they were not able to replicate it.
- They try to address a bunch of potential issues with the old measurement, such as current going around the voltage probe in a way that could mimic the sudden drop in voltage. but to me, and some other people who know more than I do, the arguments are not completely convincing.
- The authors have added a lot of new data, (many new pages and additional authors) . along with a summary of the performance of 125 (?) samples - only 10 of them looked like superconductors. More details, I think is needed on their method and interpretation of data.
Biggest thing is there is still "repetition" of pattern in random noise.. very unlikely. This is still there in newer graphs too. (If you zoom on the graph - as I don't have the raw data - some parts looks like they have been duplicated. This was caught almost right away wrt to their previous paper.
To me strangest part was the author's and their supporters conduct. For those who do not know here it is briefly - (from what I Know/heard)
- Just after publication of the first arXiv, BC (US physicist) Noticed a "strange" repeating pattern in the random data noise. (Remember at that time some of the scientists I know here is US dropped everything and started looking at it, as IISc is a very prestigious institute and Room temperature SC is very exciting - In fact there was flood of activity and excitement in physics world).
- The authors took that into notice, and said they will look at the data and try to see why it is.
- PR (An Indian Physicist) looked into it, and became even more interested - as the time went by things became even more strange. Authors became non-communicative.
- Meanwhile some of the physicists who were discussion this received an email form a renowned Indian Physicist (TVR) - telling them, go easy of IISc's scientists (authors) in their criticism. (I Know TVR - he was one of my professor many decades ago). TVR is one of the most well known and senior most scientist in India.
- This "email" looked strange - TVR is not that kind of person so someone called him - It turns out that he never sent that email, The email was sent from a fake account mimicking TVR. Some one went through LOT of trouble for that email. ( They found that the fake email account was strangely, was created July 7. That's 16 days before the paper appeared on the arxiv.). ( I don't know if the story got widely known in general public in India but it was fairly well known among many Indian scientists )
- The story then got extremely weird as more and more people started investigating. Even some fake twitter/facebook/email account were discovered who were contributing to this back and from IISC's authors and others.
I think IISc should, If it has not already done so, REALLY check this thing out well and wait before going so gung-ho. I have not heard from TVR but others (Like PR) are actively discussing this. At present everyone is looking at data. RT superconductivity is a BIG deal, so let us wait till we are sure before publicizing it through newspapers.
Hope this is helpful.