Nature retracts an article by quantum researchers in Delft for the second time

Nature retracts an article by quantum researchers in Delft for the second time

For the second time, a Scientific publishing From the research group of Delft quantum researcher Leo Kouwenhoven that has been pulled from the journal temper nature† Incorrectly omitted search data in key numbers. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology also participated in this 2017 study.

beginning of last year Deleted the magazine temper nature Already a publication from 2018 by the Kouwenhoven Research Group. The authors also noted problems with data processing. TU Delft then launched two integrity investigations into the working methods within the research group. These investigations are still ongoing temper nature The second study withdrew.

Kouwenhoven is a famous quantum researcher. He is a professor at TU Delft. In 2007, Kouwenhoven was awarded the Spinoza Prize for his research. In 2016, he became director of a new laboratory on the TU Delft campus, where the quantum computer was developed for the technology company Microsoft. Kouwenhoven left Microsoft last month. According to Koenhoven, his departure has nothing to do with the study that was pulled from 2018, the professor said. know before

Look for Majorana

Kouwenhoven has been searching for stable Majorana particles since 2010. In theory, they could be used as qubits (bits a quantum computer uses for computations). Theorists say they exist, but empirical evidence is still missing.

Kouwenhoven and his colleagues are trying to find Majorana particles with nanowires, which are wires fifty times thinner than a hair. In a 2017, now-deleted study, Kouwenhoven’s research group described a material for generating Majorana particles that they developed with Professor Eric Beckers of Eindhoven University of Technology.

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The Bakers Group in Eindhoven specializes in nanofabrication. For Majorana’s research, the group in Eindhoven made a network of nanowires. Kouwenhoven’s group at Delft investigated the suitability of a nanowire network for the generation of macroparticles. In the post, the researchers claim that this is indeed an ideal material for generating Majorana particles for future quantum computers.

cut and paste

But this claim is now called into question. The study authors drew last week Post again from temper nature due to data processing problems. Cut-and-paste a number of charts and statements that contradict the claim have been removed from the post. All 25 co-authors agreed with the decision to withdraw the article as a result.

A network of nanowires, developed at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

“It is very disappointing that the study was withdrawn,” Beckers replies. But I still stand behind the work we’ve done here in Eindhoven. I’m still proud of it.” Kouwenhoven did not respond to a request for comment. A press officer from TU Delft said she could not comment on the matter due to the absence due to the May holiday.

In a 2018 study that was withdrawn claimed Kouwenhoven and colleagues found the marjoram molecule. That was world news at the time. But former Kouwenhoven employees Vincent Moric and Sergey Frolov saw that in the 2018 study, too, the data was pasted and cut. The outside experts asked by TU Delft for advice concluded in a Report That there was no intention, “but the authors’ enthusiasm was blinded by the data that did not show what they were hoping for.”

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second investigation

Last February, TU Delft launched a second integrity investigation into the group when they received reports that further studies by the group might contain errors. This investigation is still ongoing.

Are the findings of one of the two integrity studies the reason researchers are pulling the study out of nature for the second time? Bakers do not believe. When the first study was canceled last year, the authors on their own initiative scanned dozens of studies for errors. Including our study from 2017. As long as the integrity investigation continues, we are not allowed to say anything else about it.”

Former employees of Moric and Frolov say they have found problems in at least two other studies from the Kouwenhoven research group. What will happen with that remains unclear.

Kouwenhoven will remain Professor of Physics at TU Delft for the time being without an appointment. This means that he does not receive his salary from the university. This is still the case, assures QuTech, the Quantum Institute at TU Delft and TNO. Kouwenhoven now supervises twelve PhD students at QuTech.

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