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Did Nobel Prize in Physics Go to Wrong Scientists?
October 7, 2010 17:31

Molecule of graphene

Yesterday’s announcement of 2010 Noble Prize winners in Physics unexpectedly lead to a great scandal. Victor Petrik, a full member of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, claims that Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim got the highest award in the scientific world undeservedly, and he is ready to prove his words.

Victor Petrik, an odious figure of Russian science, claims that honour of graphene discovery doesn’t belong to Novoselov and Geim, and he has documents, proving his words. The scientist, blamed by Russian Academy of Sciences for being a scientific fraud, says that he has been dealing with carbon technologies well before Nobel Prize laureates – about 10 years before 2004. He also claims that he has published papers on graphene or “carbon mixture of high reactive ability” and described a technology for its synthesis, a so-called cold destruction technology. However, quick googling on “cold destruction” reveals only one short abstract of a paper, dated by 2008, in a Russian-language scientific magazine Technical Physics, and he wasn’t the first author there. First author in science papers usually means a person, who did most of the work.



After that the scientist says that he cannot say anything about further studies of graphene, because he wasn’t following the publications. Victor Petrik says that this is the first time such accident happens in a world of science. The scientist complains that at that time he was working alone, and Russian science magazines usually worked only with research groups, and that was why his discovery could have been stolen by anyone. I cannot agree with that – just open any science magazine in Russian (if you cannot read Russian, just trust me), and you will see papers with only one author – the one, who had some idea, developed it and got some results.

Victor Petrik claims that his discovery (what discovery is he talking about, I cannot understand) was the basis for development and introduction of technologies of commercial graphene production by means of cold destruction. I’m not sure that Korean researchers, who produce this material by transfer from nickel, have ever heard about this technique.

Victor Petrik didn’t tell the press what he was going to do with that situation. Seems like an attempt to ride the wave of popularity, generated by the Nobel Prize awarded to really hard-working and eminent researchers. Victor Petrik was recently blamed by Russian Academy of Sciences for trying to force Russians use his filters for drinking water, in which experts didn’t find anything new or extraordinary.

The Nobel Prize 2010 in Physics went to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, Russian-born scientists, now affiliated with the University of Manchester, UK “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. Both researchers got their higher education in Russia, in the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and said many warm words about their student years, however, both said no, when asked about possible return to their Motherland.


Kizilova Anna

Tags: Nobel Prize     

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