Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘physical review letters’ Category

Physics paper sinks amid accusations of unacceptable “overlap”

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prl-bannerA paper in Physical Review Letters has been retracted for “overlap” with two other previously published papers.

The notice isn’t available online yet, so we got in touch with American Physical Society (APS) editorial director Dan Kulp for more information. Here’s what he told us about “Anomalous melting scenario of the two-dimensional core-softened system”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Quantum physics paper pulled for “serious theoretical errors,” notice accidentally paywalled

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physicalreviewlettersA paper on photonic quantum walks has been retracted over a theoretical disagreement.

The notice is also paywalled, which the editorial director has assured us is a mistake that is being corrected.

We sent the COPE guidelines on retraction to the American Physical Society, which publishes Physical Review Letters. Editorial director Dan Kulp told us the paywall was the unintentional consequence of a web redesign, and that they are in the process of restoring public access to “all Errata-types, including Retractions.”

Here’s the rest of his statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 27th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Doing the right thing: Particle physicists pull paper after equation collides with the truth

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physicalreviewlettersThree physicists at Imperial College London have retracted a paper on Coulomb collisions, a kind of fender bender between two charged particles, after realizing their equations were written wrong.

The mistake resulted in an erroneous conclusion about the strength of the collisions.

Here’s the notice for “Effects of Large-Angle Coulomb Collisions on Inertial Confinement Fusion Plasmas”: Read the rest of this entry »

Doing the right thing: Physicists retract paper after becoming aware of “a fundamental error”

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prl-bannerThe authors of a paper in Physical Review Letters have retracted it, after another researcher pointed out a mistake.

F. Sattin and D.F. Escande write in the notice for “Alfvénic Propagation: A Key to Nonlocal Effects in Magnetized Plasmas” (which is behind a paywall) that after the paper was published, they “we became aware of a fundamental error in the normalization of our equations.” Excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Poignancy in physics: Retraction for “fatal error” that couldn’t be patched

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prl-bannerIn August of last year, Mladen Pavičić, chair of physics at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Civil Engineering, published a paper in Physical Review Letters on quantum teleportation, “Near-Deterministic Discrimination of All Bell States with Linear Optics.”

Just six days later, after hearing from a physicist in China, Pavičić — who is also affiliated with Harvard’s physics department — submitted a correction, which ran on the journal’s site in November. The correction begins: Read the rest of this entry »

Pair of graphene papers retracted

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Graphene has been hot for several years. Here’s what the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences had to say about it in 2010 when awarding two researchers the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work:

Graphene is a form of carbon. As a material it is completely new – not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper. As a conductor of heat it outperforms all other known materials. It is almost completely transparent, yet so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. Carbon, the basis of all known life on earth, has surprised us once again.

But one researcher may have allowed his enthusiasm for graphene to get ahead of him. He and his unwitting co-authors have now lost two papers thanks to that enthusiasm. Read the rest of this entry »

A quick Physical Review Letters retraction after author realizes analysis was “performed incorrectly”

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One of the authors of a paper in Physical Review Letters has withdrawn it, after someone pointed out an error.

The paper, “Coulomb Forces on DNA Polymers in Charged Fluidic Nanoslits,” was written by Brown University’s Derek Stein and one of his graduate students, Yongqiang Ren. It was published in February of this year, and the retraction ran on July 20.

The notice is forthright: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 10th, 2011 at 9:30 am