Failed Discovery Claims

Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology book series (BRIEFSHIST)

Abstract

Without suggesting a name, in 1971 Amnon Marinov and collaborators announced to have detected element 112 by bombarding a tungsten target with high-energy protons. The discovery claim was not accepted by specialists in the synthesis of superheavy elements who were unable to replicate the experiment. Nonetheless, Marinov and members of his group insisted that they had discovered the element. They later claimed to have found long-lived nuclides of element 122 in natural samples, a claim which was also not accepted. The other case described in the chapter is quite different in substance but also concerns a failed discovery claim. The announcement in 1999 that a research group in Berkeley had produced element 118 turned out to be based on false data, namely fraud committed by Viktor Ninov, a member of the group. The Ninov affair caused much alarm, not only in the scientific community but also generally. Element 118 was eventually synthesised, but only in 2016 was its existence officially approved.

Keywords

Superheavy elements Amnon Marinov Viktor Ninov Scientific misconduct Element 112 Element 118 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Niels Bohr ArchiveNiels Bohr InstituteCopenhagenDenmark

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