APA 7: Kaykı, D., Okur, B. U., Çulhaoğlu, A., & Çarıkçıoğlu, A. E. (2023, August 7). Süper İletken Devrimi: İddialar Her Şeyi Değiştirebilir! PerEXP Teamworks. [Article Link]
This article (That you are going to read) describes about what a Korean research team led by Young-Wan Kwon found and the ironic, so strange chain of events that happened afterwards. That they have found a substance that shows superconductivity at room temperature: LK-99… But there are huge speculations and question marks follow.
Perhaps the most important of the leading roles that caused all this is Ranga Dias. Three years ago, he published an article about finding a superconducting substance with similar properties. But then it turned out that this article was not the original. Besides, this incident happened on one of the most accepted platforms in the scientific community. He returned with a brand-new claim. Or has he been returned? What more can Young-Wan and Dias promise us? Most importantly: If there is a grain of truth in the claims, what kind of benefits will this provide us? Don’t forget to read our article and share your comments with us to find out the answers to these questions!
Before getting through the details of the subject, the claim and counter-arguments that have effectively entered the science agenda, it is worth explaining what a superconductor is and the importance of its operation at room temperature.
What is a superconductor?
It is the name given to materials in which electrical resistance disappears under certain conditions. As the temperature decreases, the resistance of the superconductor decreases gradually accordingly. Each superconductor has a critical temperature point, and if the temperature drops below the critical point, the electrical resistance suddenly becomes zero. Well: “Then why are we still using our ‘Not so super’ conductors in our daily lives?” you may be thinking. “After all, we have a better ‘Idea’ that cannot be compared.” 
Characteristics of superconductors
There are two main problems with superconductors, which were revealed by the Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911, and many types of superconductors have been discovered since then. The first of these is that it is costly. The second problem is its manufacturability—the ability of superconductors to be manufactured at very low temperatures. To give an example, a superconductor with a temperature of “-196 °C” has been developed that works by cooling with relatively very cold liquid nitrogen.
In other words, the source of the first problem is technically the second problem. Therefore, scientists were continuing their research in order to solve the second problem of discovering and developing substances that show superconductivity at higher temperatures (For example, at room temperature). 
The development that has taken place on the agenda is directly related to this issue. As emphasized, the Korean team claims in its article that “This technology can also be realized at room temperature.” If their claims are true, what can change in everyday life can be expressed under several headings:
- Uninterrupted energy: Throughout the article, it was mentioned that superconductors transmit electricity with zero resistance. This transmission referred to means that it ceases to resist the passage of electric current. As a result, superconductors may allow the creation of circuits that never heat up and can thus transfer energy without interruption.
- Energy saving: Superconductors do not produce heat while the electric current is passing through, which will save money by preventing energy loss.
- Electromagnetic systems: Above all, magnets made of superconductors are the strongest known magnets. These magnets will be able to be used more effectively and efficiently in the management of rays in MRI machines, mass spectrometers, and particle accelerators.
To summarize: It can be stated that the more used, superconductors become, the more they will be used in all the situations listed in the above headings and beyond 
Later in the article, the facts behind the speculations affecting the media will be clarified.
The hoaxes behind the new findings
In the face of this development, which caused a sensation throughout the world, it was inevitable that scientists would doubt the project due to the functioning and nature of science. But there are a few more details that throw the scientific world into suspicion, aside from the huge claim of the project. Many academic articles can be accessed by clicking on the author’s name on arXiv, the platform where the article is published. In fact, if the events had been limited to this, an atmosphere of trust could have been created for the team.
On the contrary, it was expected that its reputation would be strengthened because the research was published in respected academic circles. But when the name “Young-Wan Kwon” is manually searched on arXiv, it turns out that there is only one article registered in his name, and this is the “superconducting article”, which is the main focus of the article you are reading. As a matter of fact, dozens of articles to which the platform claims that the specified author contributed do not belong to him.
There is a reason for this situation that can be considered ironic: few people can claim that the names “Young-Kyun Kwon” and “Young-Wan Kwon” are not similar to each other. When Young-Wan Kwon is searched on arXiv, 114 articles are reached on behalf of the author due to this similarity of name, but each of them is actually Young-Kyun Kwon’s article. As a result, the only reason that Young-Wan, the author of the superconducting paper, has 114 articles appearing is because of name confusion.  
Yes, it may sound like the problem has been solved now, but at this point, the academic circles naturally form the following question mark: “How is it that a scientist who claims to have made one of the most important discoveries in the world, ‘Perhaps the most important’, has not been able to publish even a single article so far?”.
Either this is a case of forgery, as will be mentioned later in the article, or the events are much deeper than they seem. It would be useful to take a look at another project made in South Korea to make a comparison.
Hwang Woo Suk, who comes from a family with a below-average level of prosperity and relatively limited means, was accepted to Seoul National University; his career was suddenly on the rise, and with government support, he was appointed the head of the world’s most important cloning projects. The reason for addressing these issues is that there are widespread examples of state-sponsored projects in South Korea that suddenly emerged from nowhere. A similar situation has possibly occurred since the discovery of superconductors. 
Even if things are as reported, there is no doubt that when it comes to “Superconductivity at room temperature”, the scientific community will follow the policy of twining shyness. In 2020, they were burnt once due to an experience that can be considered the same.
Ranga Dias, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, physics, and astronomy at the University of Rochester and a scientist at the Laser Energy Laboratory, has published an article claiming that he has accidentally produced superconductors that can work under room temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions.
Dias’s past was not very bright. His current situation is no different from yesterday. However, it can be said that his problem was much bigger because he had a scientific background. There was, but it was dark. The inclusion of statistics in the doctoral thesis of James Hamlin, a physicist working at the University of Florida, written in 2007, and in the thesis published in 2013, also attracted attention to Dias. 
Despite all these doubts, Dias and his team announced in an article published in the journal “Nature” in October 2020 that they have produced a superconductor that can operate at 15 degrees and 1 million atmospheric pressures. Since most superconductors operate below temperatures such as 200 Kelvin, this invention resonated around the world just as it does today in the conditions in which it is claimed to work. However, other research could not confirm the data, and the article was retracted. The scientific community was right in its suspicions.
The ironic part of the incident is that the name “Dias” has been at the top of the agenda again recently. While the discovery of the Korean team was being discussed all over the world, Nature, instead of including the study in its article as mentioned earlier, published an article containing the publication process and new claims of Dias, whose article was previously retracted due to fraud. 
Despite what has happened in the past, Dias and his colleagues announced that they have renewed their claims: they claim that a new superconducting material made of lutetium, hydrogen, and nitrogen can work under normal pressure conditions and at room temperature, and if their claims are true, computer chips, transistors, and MRI devices, which are the areas of application of superconductors, can skip the era. 
Although the development is exciting, the research of the arbitration committee is still ongoing. Because it is possible that a similar forgery will happen again. Research shows that Dias, even if he is honest in his new predictions, will never regain his former respectability.
Evaluation of claims
Of course, one of the most important requirements of being a scientist is to have scientific ethics. And why Nature has brought this issue back to the agenda creates a question mark in our minds. Perhaps they wanted to bring the event up to date in their article when it was claimed that such an important discovery had been made about superconductors. The darker dimension of the work may have prompted less coverage of the work by South Korea in the mainstream media, which is why they brought Dias back to prominence.
“The Center for Condensed Matter (CMTC)” at the University of Maryland in the USA became the first respected academic organization to respond to and refute superconductivity claims about LK-99. The organization cited research based in China, India, and Taiwan to refute the claim of the Korean team in question. It was found that LK-99 samples did not show superconductivity. However, they were only “Diamagnetic (Matter has a weak state of reacting to magnetic fields)” in one of these studies conducted by scientists at the National Physical Laboratory of India. 
Another study conducted by the “International Center for Quantum Materials (ICQM)” in China also found “ferromagnetism (the state of matter reacting strongly to magnetic fields) to be insignificant,” which indicates an attraction to two magnet poles at once. 
More consistent data that will be revealed about the subject in the future may move events into a different dimension. Nevertheless, the existence of a superconductor, as mentioned in the middle, isn’t accurate at the moment. There are many different claims and projects that can open up new horizons. However, it should be known that everything focused on is an allegation. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” (ECREE)  This whole process and the reflexes that the academic environment has developed, even against each other, are enough to show that science is very important for human civilization.
The historical development of technology reflects the desire of man to constantly improve his knowledge and skills. Just as important discoveries and inventions made in the past form the basis of everyday life, today’s innovations continue to shape the world of tomorrow. Advances in technology give humanity hope that tomorrow will be a more sustainable, safe, and innovative world than today. The prospect of a superconductor could lead to a world beyond expectations in a much shorter period of time than predicted.
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This translation was made by Ahmet Ege Çarıkçıoğlu