A few years back some scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced an exciting find-they were able to cause fusion using sound waves. Sound too good to be true? It didn't to the journals. The "prestigious" journal Science published the findings which have since turned out to be bogus.
The claims, made by a Dr. Taleyarkhan, involved collapsing bubbles in a liquid using sound waves. There was such force that the collapse of the bubbles cause hydrogen atoms in the liquid to undergo fusion reactions. The original research was conducted at Oak Ridge, but Dr. Taleyarkhan has since moved to Purdue University where he published a follow-up paper which claimed he was able to duplicate the original results, something no other scientists have been able to do. In a recent finding, which didn't dispute the original paper, Purdue punished the professor for research misconduct. Apparently there has been no duplication of the original results.
Hmmm...maybe we shouldn't be so anxious to believe in table top fusion the next time someone announces it. On a positive note, this shows the scientific enterprise works pretty well and roots out false results. Its also a good comment on human nature. Maybe this is less about actual fraud and more about Dr. Teleyarkhan wanting to believe so badly in what he thought he discovered.
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