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(Science Alert)   What's worse than achieving a breakthrough in your scientific field? Not being able to replicate it yourself   (sciencealert.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Nuclear fusion, huge burst of energy, fusion reaction, past year, high-energy environment, last year, first time, physicist John Lawson  
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1020 clicks; posted to STEM » on 17 Aug 2022 at 12:11 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



29 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-08-16 5:47:04 PM  
I wish you could see my fusion, but you can't, because it's in Canada.
 
2022-08-16 6:27:48 PM  
Reminds me of an anecdote about Laurence Olivier I ran across in grad school: one night, he gave an absolutely towering performance. It was immediately apparent to everyone who witnessed it that it was one of the greatest ever seen to that point. When people went backstage to congratulate him, they found him looking completely dejected. They tried to console him, telling him how magnificent he had been. He replied that he knew, but was so upset because he had no idea how he did it.

/end CSB
 
2022-08-16 6:36:39 PM  
Did they try turning it off and back on again?
 
2022-08-16 10:18:16 PM  

DarnoKonrad: I wish you could see my fusion, but you can't, because it's in Canada.


What makes you think I wouldn't know it?!  I've been to Canada, and you sir, are no Canada visitor.
 
2022-08-17 12:18:38 AM  

DarnoKonrad: I wish you could see my fusion, but you can't, because it's in Canada.


https://generalfusion.com

HQ is in Canada (my city) but they're building their demonstration plant in the UK.
 
2022-08-17 12:54:32 AM  
FTFA
"...replicating the chemical reaction that powers the Sun."

WTF?
 
2022-08-17 12:58:30 AM  
I understand that its hard to get people with strong backgrounds in physics to write these articles, but any time I read these pop science articles I just get derailed by sentences like "The power of these reactions is what creates heavier molecules like iron".  You can just tell when people don't have a Physics 101 level knowledge of the subject.

There are just so many sentences in this article that are just a little bit wrong.
 
ecl
2022-08-17 1:09:34 AM  
I can see god!

"Show us"

Outlook blurry.  Here's a Science Alert article.
 
2022-08-17 1:10:28 AM  
Take the catridge out, blow on it, then put it back in.
 
2022-08-17 1:22:15 AM  
They're still trying.  Seen the thing fire and it sounds like a stick of dynamite amidst massive flashes.
 
2022-08-17 1:50:01 AM  

hebrides: Reminds me of an anecdote about Laurence Olivier I ran across in grad school: one night, he gave an absolutely towering performance. It was immediately apparent to everyone who witnessed it that it was one of the greatest ever seen to that point. When people went backstage to congratulate him, they found him looking completely dejected. They tried to console him, telling him how magnificent he had been. He replied that he knew, but was so upset because he had no idea how he did it.

/end CSB


It is an excellent remark. I don't think of scientists as particularly scheming, lying, craven competitors hunting for grants. And really, if they were, they would be doubly dejected by an inability to replicate the results.

No. Probably they are profoundly sad. They had lightning in a bottle, and it might never happen again for all they know.

Oh well. They still have one up on Olivier. They recorded it and they have more and more data. And this, friends and readers, is why science beats art. These scientists do not have to start all over again.
 
ecl
2022-08-17 2:02:34 AM  

2fardownthread: hebrides: Reminds me of an anecdote about Laurence Olivier I ran across in grad school: one night, he gave an absolutely towering performance. It was immediately apparent to everyone who witnessed it that it was one of the greatest ever seen to that point. When people went backstage to congratulate him, they found him looking completely dejected. They tried to console him, telling him how magnificent he had been. He replied that he knew, but was so upset because he had no idea how he did it.

/end CSB

It is an excellent remark. I don't think of scientists as particularly scheming, lying, craven competitors hunting for grants. And really, if they were, they would be doubly dejected by an inability to replicate the results.

No. Probably they are profoundly sad. They had lightning in a bottle, and it might never happen again for all they know.

Oh well. They still have one up on Olivier. They recorded it and they have more and more data. And this, friends and readers, is why science beats art. These scientists do not have to start all over again.


They can just keep redoing the experiment until they figure it out!  No way an actor can do that!
 
2022-08-17 2:12:50 AM  
All I know is that plentiful cheap nuclear fusion is just a decade away. Two decades tops. Same way it's been for the past 50 years or so.
 
2022-08-17 3:31:37 AM  

hebrides: Reminds me of an anecdote about Laurence Olivier I ran across in grad school: one night, he gave an absolutely towering performance. It was immediately apparent to everyone who witnessed it that it was one of the greatest ever seen to that point. When people went backstage to congratulate him, they found him looking completely dejected. They tried to console him, telling him how magnificent he had been. He replied that he knew, but was so upset because he had no idea how he did it.

/end CSB


Has he tried Method ?
 
2022-08-17 4:24:54 AM  
Performing many years of experiments, not finding what you are looking for, and finally giving up.  Then someone else looks at your data, sees what you just missed it, and wins the Nobel Prize in physics.  I forget who that was.

Then there were the guys who discovered the microwave background by accident when they were trying to tune a radio telescope.  Nobel Prize.  And the guy who was actually looking for it even knows what they found before they did.

Science is a really tough neighborhood.
 
2022-08-17 6:49:01 AM  

studebaker hoch: Performing many years of experiments, not finding what you are looking for, and finally giving up.  Then someone else looks at your data, sees what you just missed it, and wins the Nobel Prize in physics.  I forget who that was.

Then there were the guys who discovered the microwave background by accident when they were trying to tune a radio telescope.  Nobel Prize.  And the guy who was actually looking for it even knows what they found before they did.

Science is a really tough neighborhood.


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-17 7:08:37 AM  
As a scientist, though nowhere near that field:

1: If you can't replicate it, you haven't actually done it.

2: If a bunch of other skilled scientistscant replicate it either, you definitely haven't actually done it.

Because the other word for a one-off result nobody can describe or replicate is a fluke.

FWIW, this is why meticulous real-time methods description and recording of notes & results is a thing in lab work. I don't believe them for a second; do better work that you & others can reproduce and maybe it'll get taken seriously.
 
2022-08-17 7:33:36 AM  

FleshMonkey: FTFA
"...replicating the chemical reaction that powers the Sun."

WTF?


If you go down deep enough, everything is a chemical reaction.
 
2022-08-17 8:00:38 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

Pro Tip: Make sure you notify the mainstream press
 
2022-08-17 8:04:43 AM  
If they can't replicate it, they didn't achieve it.

Anyone who professionally understands how the scientific method works knows this.
 
2022-08-17 8:05:21 AM  

Fear the Clam: [Fark user image image 430x295]
Pro Tip: Make sure you notify the mainstream press


Rule #1 of claiming a massive scientific breakthrough:

If you don't want to fully torch your entire career, keep your @&#%ing mouth shut until every single bit of your big discovery is absolutely iron-clad proven from soup to nuts.
 
2022-08-17 8:06:46 AM  

Krazikarl: I understand that its hard to get people with strong backgrounds in physics to write these articles, but any time I read these pop science articles I just get derailed by sentences like "The power of these reactions is what creates heavier molecules like iron".  You can just tell when people don't have a Physics 101 level knowledge of the subject.

There are just so many sentences in this article that are just a little bit wrong.


Perhaps fusion can be used to create heavy and complex molecules like vaccines. I'm going to be a science writer!
 
2022-08-17 8:12:05 AM  

SuperChuck: FleshMonkey: FTFA
"...replicating the chemical reaction that powers the Sun."

WTF?

If you go down deep enough, everything is a chemical reaction.


Quantum phenomena (sub-atomic particles) follow an entirely different set of rules than the established science of chemical reactions.
/just sayin'
 
2022-08-17 9:00:25 AM  
Is this really that surprising? They are working with wild magnetic fields and temperatures in the tens of millions of degrees Celsius. Even with a very detailed procedure, this strikes me as a process with very little margin for error, where even the smallest changes to any condition (some of which they may not even know influence the process) might derail the whole reaction. Maybe the announcement was premature, but I highly doubt their issue is "not taking good enough notes".
 
2022-08-17 9:01:11 AM  

Fear the Clam: [Fark user image image 430x295]
Pro Tip: Make sure you notify the mainstream press


Beat me to it!
 
2022-08-17 9:15:28 AM  

padraig: hebrides: Reminds me of an anecdote about Laurence Olivier I ran across in grad school: one night, he gave an absolutely towering performance. It was immediately apparent to everyone who witnessed it that it was one of the greatest ever seen to that point. When people went backstage to congratulate him, they found him looking completely dejected. They tried to console him, telling him how magnificent he had been. He replied that he knew, but was so upset because he had no idea how he did it.

/end CSB

Has he tried Method ?


Good point. He just needs to live as if he's a great actor.
 
2022-08-17 10:56:18 AM  
Like the faster than light claim several years ago.

Oops, bad sensor, NEVERMIND.
 
2022-08-17 11:15:50 AM  

AntonChigger: Is this really that surprising? They are working with wild magnetic fields and temperatures in the tens of millions of degrees Celsius. Even with a very detailed procedure, this strikes me as a process with very little margin for error, where even the smallest changes to any condition (some of which they may not even know influence the process) might derail the whole reaction. Maybe the announcement was premature, but I highly doubt their issue is "not taking good enough notes".


It's certainly got to be something they didn't track or measure.

The article is pretty dumb. If you can't replicate something, it's not really worth writing about. "We totally pinky-swear promise that this thing happened once, but we can't replicate it and neither can you." Friggin' eyeroll.
 
2022-08-17 11:10:12 PM  

Madeup Farkname: If they can't replicate it, they didn't achieve it.

Anyone who professionally understands how the scientific method works knows this.


Just because it doesn't count according the the scientific method doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Like those game-winning full-court buzzer beater shots, there was some luck involved.
 
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