The Fallen Angel Particle

At long last, the ‘Chiral Majorana’ paper is retracted from Science. It took 4 years. I was not on the team led by Laurens Molenkamp that identified the multitude of problems with it. But I have seen the evidence uncovered by the original investigators, and I repeated and confirmed  many of the steps. I will not share at this time what the evidence is, hoping that the investigators will do so themselves. It is important for everyone to know what they found. Because it is brilliant work. And because we can all learn from them how to look at data with our eyes open, and how not to give into the lull of fairy tales. 

‘Chiral Particle Fallen Angel’ courtesy of Dall-E Mini

I can attest that the evidence is overwhelming and goes to the basic level of whether the data ever existed? It didn’t. The entire paper is made up. The most positive thing I can say is that some of the figures were inspired by real data. But this is actually in itself a horrible thing – by imitating the overall signal shape from previous works, they made it more believable to some.

The data in the paper look remarkably similar to the theory predictions of the late Shoucheng Zhang. In fact, Zhang himself joined the paper as a co-author, which indicates he was impressed. He took on the task of promoting this work, referring to it as ‘The Angel Particle’, in analogy to the Higgs boson, known as ‘The God Particle’. Because we know that the similarity of the data to his theory was a result of data fabrication, we can say for sure that his predictions have not, in fact, been realized.

Many others were not impressed from the start. When the paper first appeared on arXiv, my own reaction, after looking at it for ten minutes, was ‘No Way.’. Others, such as Jay Sau, Xiao-Gang Wen, and their collaborators put forward simple Kirchhoff-level arguments why the claim cannot be right. This is one common folly of people who try to fabricate or falsify results – if they imitate physics that is itself wrong, they are likely to be scrutinized and found out. This was the same for the Delft ‘Quantized Majorana Conductance’ where my friend and collaborator Vincent Mourik and I precipitated the retraction. Despite that paper being accompanied by its own theory, from the University of Maryland, which we also could not verify, the physics behind it was simply wrong. Majorana is not expected to be quantized in nanowire devices, surely not in the short and imperfect ones that the Delft group had (See this paper, Figure 5 and discussion).

Nevermind this pushback, Kang Wang, the last author of the freshly retracted paper, received praise and accolades for his work. For example, he won the Neel Medal literally for the discovery of Chiral Majorana, a discovery that was entirely fabricated. Interestingly, despite Science knowing all the facts of the case, its publisher AAAS kept Kang Wang’s appointment as an editor at Science Advances, a sister journal to Science.  I was shocked when I received a referee request signed by him. How can AAAS allow a person who had published a fabricated paper in Science make decisions on what to publish, for the same organization?

Setting aside Kang Wang, it is disappointing that so many other co-authors also refused to retract this obviously fabricated paper. The three co-authors that agreed with the retraction demonstrated integrity and bravery.  Of the authors who refused to sign, I am particularly perplexed by Jing Xia of UC Irvine. His involvement in the paper was actually fairly peripheral. His group offered Kang Wang the use of a dilution fridge and helped set up the measurement. As I understand it, the UCLA authors quickly submitted  results for publication, and at the time other authors trusted them implicitly. 

But given that the raw data supporting the claim of chiral Majorana were supposedly taken in Xia’s lab, it should have only taken him a few hours of looking into the matter, to figure out that the claims he had signed-off on, were fabricated. Four years later, he still does not have enough courage or conviction to remove his name. Extremely disappointing. 

All that said, the behavior of individual authors pales by comparison with the absolutely shameful handling of the matter by UCLA and UC Irvine. When first approached, and shown damning evidence of data fabrication, the deans at both schools, both physicists, quickly proclaimed that they had investigated, and found no problems. Editors at Science then decided that their hands were tied. They could not fathom taking the initiative to perform an editorial retraction, i.e., one made without the approval of all authors or the institution. Four years later, an editorial retraction is now exactly what they have done.

The editorial decision, and the lack of mention of any institutional investigation in the retraction notice,  suggest that UCLA has not made progress with its investigation. It is appalling that the University of California, the largest state university, has utterly failed to assure the accuracy and integrity of their research record. They should apologize to the public, and compensate the government for funds and efforts that were wasted because of their failure.

To Science’s credit, during the time that they were dragging their heels on editorial retraction,  they published an attempt to reproduce the chiral Majorana result. No Majorana plateaus were found in data that an independent group acquired on similar samples. This work was led by the very talented Cui-Zu Chang and his collaborators at Penn State, and Wurzburg. It is fairly extraordinary for Science, to publish a straightforward repudiation of their own paper, as a separate paper. Of course, Science has a ridiculous policy that it will only consider technical comments responding to prior papers for 3 months after publication – making it impossible to publish experimental reproduction studies in our field as comments. They take a lot longer. 

There is some degree of justice in Science’s decision. These researchers spent time and money trying to repeat Kang Wang’s claims. Perhaps they believed in them and wanted to have their own Chiral Majoranas. Or they may have felt a duty to clear up this topic. 

I am hopeful that editors at Science are moving in a positive direction, in trying to improve quality control. They also recently published a paper led by Georgios Katsaros of IST Austria that demonstrated with exceptional clarity the absence of any Majorana in full-shell nanowires. This was a repudiation of an earlier claim, also in Science, that was published in 2020 by Charlie Marcus and others at Microsoft and several universities. Vincent Mourik and I found that their own additional data disproved the claims in their paper. Marcus’s paper is under the Editorial Expression of Concern by Science since July 2021. The Chiral Majorana was under Expression of Concern between December 2021 and today, November 17 2022, the day it was retracted.

On reproduction, Nature is not taking as fair an approach as Science. The editors only permit reproduction studies in lesser journals, a step or two down their vast pyramidal scheme. For example, Quantized Majorana Conductance was published, and then retracted, from Nature – but our reproduction study of it was only offered a spot in Nature Physics. The first missing Shapiro step paper was published in Nature Physics by a group from Purdue, but a negative reproduction study from NYU was published in Nature Communications. There are other examples. This is like a newspaper publishing corrections to a front page article on the back page. On the other hand, Nature does better than Science on their retraction process, having already retracted two Majorana papers (1 and 2), and one on room-temperature superconductivity. All of them still took too long, with most of the time taken by the editors just sitting on it.

Back to Kang Wang. He has written a blog in Chinese, in which  he basically argues that his samples are ‘better’ or at least ‘different’ to those at PSU. This is one of the commonly used arguments that appears sensible to people accused of unreliable research. They either try to argue that they or their experiments are ‘better’, known as the ‘virtuoso defense’ or they claim that their experiments were done differently – usually they amplify minor differences that play no role in conclusions. It is often easy to see through this.

Another step that the accused take is they often claim that they have since followed-up and confirmed their own findings that were found unreliable. Kang Wang did this – he put a paper on arXiv containing ‘even better’ conductance quantization than what was fabricated for Science on Chiral Majorana. As far as I know that paper has not been published.

The Delft first author Hao Zhang had more success with this method. He submitted to Physical Review Letters a paper with ‘even better’ quantization of his ‘Majorana’ ‘plateau’. Editors at PRL received critical feedback, but chose to publish the paper, knowing fully well that the physics behind it is not valid and that the same author had to retract the same claim from Nature.

Nature played a role in making it possible. They published a misleading retraction notice on ‘Quantized Majorana Conductance’. In it, they allowed the authors to say that the problems were limited to ‘signal miscalibration’ and they omitted acknowledgement of inappropriate data selection. (Another problem with retractions initiated by  authors, is that authors can choose the wording to their advantage).  Of course, if the only problem were calibration, an inadvertent error, then another paper with ‘calibration done properly’ could be valid. Still, the PRL  editors actually knew that the real problem was non-representative data selection. The value of conductance was not quantized. The authors simply selected from values both greater and smaller than the ‘special’ value.

Since Physical Review Letters has agreed to publish their ‘quantized within 5%’ paper, I showed the PRL editors data from my group containing the same features as in Hao Zhang’s PRL, but where the quantization is half of what naive theory says it should be. These are half-quantized plateaus like those in Kang Wang’s paper, but in a Majorana nanowire. I find it plausible that I could spin a story that this is a physics breakthrough and persuade editors at PRL to send it for review. Perhaps this is the real chiral Majorana? In our experiments we can find any value of conductance, and fit it to any theory – this fact is well-established by now.

The UCLA Science paper is not the only paper by the same key authors that should have been investigated. For example, editors at Physical Review Letters have also seen evidence that another paper by Qing Lin He and others from Kang Wang’s group contains manipulated data. They have shrugged it off. I am a lifetime member of APS and I am extremely dismayed by this. I did renew my AAAS membership yesterday, because with this editorial retraction, it is clear that at Science, published by AAAS, some editors are trying to do the right thing, even if they act with delays that cannot be justified.

The Editor-in-Chief of Science recently published an editorial in which he proposed changes to the process for handling challenged results. He wants to separate the question of scientific validity from the question of research integrity. Oftentimes, the journal simply wants to know if the paper is accurate, but the university investigates whether misconduct has occurred which takes a long time and holds back retractions of unreliable results. I agree with the editors’ proposal, because it can allow them to move ahead quickly with retractions as soon as they establish results are invalid. Any evidence of misconduct should still be pursued, and retraction should not be the only goal.

Editors at journals can and should still do a lot more. Demand full data before acceptance, retract papers where the authors refuse to provide data, send paper for independent post publication review if concerns are raised, the journal should not depend on universities which have an obvious conflict of interest. The editors have a system for reviewing and publishing. They also need a system for investigating. 

Some of these measures could help catch unreliable work before it is officially published, while others will aid in correcting the record more efficiently. In the meantime, we should brace ourselves for more revelations and retractions, on this topic and many others, across all disciplines and fields of science.

The Block Method: Writing Scientific Papers Without Tears

One of the hardest, and effort-consuming parts of doing science is writing papers. Why is that? In part, because it genuinely does take effort to think through the arguments and lay out your work in a clear and logical way.

But in other large part, it is because of how the system is set up and what expectations (format) it generated for a scientific paper. The problem is, it became a long essay that simultaneously caters to audiences with vastly different expertise and interests. In your field, out of field, general audience, novices and experts, professors and students, etc.

I came up with a way to streamline this process and the idea is simple and intuitive – write in very short blocks of text, without worrying about the rest. Also, don’t think of it as a linear text, an essay. It is really just a collection of blocks that you can toss around, skip – or add, as you go. Rest assured, most readers do the same – they skip large parts of your paper and look for specific information only!

The Working paper can be found here:

I have been working on this for a while, and got it to the stage of a working paper, which I think is useful for students and anyone who is writing research papers. The working paper stage is also where I can solicit feedback, expand the initial library of blocks etc.

I may eventually publish it in a more traditional sense, but really – I hope it is already useful! In my group we have been using it for a year. And while writing (and finishing) papers is still hard, I think this method brings order to the chaos of this process and helps move things along. As you only need to write 1-2 blocks per day to finish the whole draft in 1-2 weeks!

Postdoc positions

We are looking for several postdocs to work in a collaborative cluster at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Positions are available in my group, and in the groups of Michael Hatridge (Pitt) and Benjamin Hunt (CMU). The range of projects is impressive – from spin liquids to scalable qubits designs and from nanowires to van der Waals heterostructures.

See this page for more information and for how to apply:

Multiple postdoctoral positions in experimental quantum materials, devices and circuits

Kapitza pendulum

So you are in recent past a glorious leader of a mighty experimental lab, like myself. And then you find yourself without a lab, without students to boss around – because your lab is shutdown by a virus. What do you do? You are still the same person, hungry for power and new discoveries delivered to you daily on a platter. A combo platter… From that place on campus that is closed… Ah, damn!

Anyways, now my only lab is a bunch of lego’s and my only student is a five-year old. What can you do with legos? Oh, tons of things. For starters, you can cool them down in your dilution refrigerator! Except… Oh well.

Second best? You can build a Kapitza pendulum. What is it you may ask? It is the kind of pendulum that you shake and it stands up, seemingly defying gravity. According to Wikipedia, it is magic. It takes a five year old about 15 minutes to build, but they need a little help getting gears inside. And it gives about 3 minutes of uninterrupted joy. All in all, about 20 minutes passed, not bad! (You can enjoy this at any age and possibly for much longer)

All the credit goes to Matt A. Robertson, who designed the device and created these amazing lego instructions while working at Texas A&M with Artem Abanov. Making this project brought memories of the old days when you could just hop on a plane and visit awesome people at another campus, talk physics with them for a whole day… And they would show you their lego’s.

Technical notes for if you build this. 1) There is a link that you can use to purchase all blocks you need for this, but it does not include one – item 2730. 2) The part that sticks out to the side is a handle to hold the device. The assembly is designed for a left handed person but it can be mirrored.

Share your negative results!

It is a busy time. Maybe you are exhausted from zoom-partying all night. Or maybe you have kids. Maybe you are a theorist and you did not notice anything strange. Or perhaps your lab is shut down, like mine is, and you are trying to stay productive.

So try this: think if you have results in your notebooks that you would normally not publish. Not because they are low quality or incomplete – though you may want to start looking at those if the shutdown stretches for months and you get hungry.

I am talking about negative results. In physics, we are wired to only share the positive, the breakthroughs! We get a mental Pavlov dog zap when we think about results that are anything but the rosiest of achievements. In other words, we think that physics is an Instagram account.

In fact, negative results advance physics. They are very important. They save people time, they complete our understanding, they help us find the correct path forward. This is obvious, right? So it should not be scary to share them, and it should not be considered a waste of time. Do it now when your lab is closed, but also do it when it reopens.

It can be a paper where you present results opposite to another paper, like we just did or like these people did a few years ago. It can provide an alternative explanation for an interesting result. It can be a broad negative result that is aimed at opening a discussion within a field of study. And it can be in a top journal, like this Science paper from Penn State. There are many examples: a paper that shows how researchers themselves overlooked something. A paper that digs at the foundations of a topic with a long distinguished history. They all make physics better!

Share your negative results. You already put effort in doing those experiments or those calculations. You thought about it and discussed them with your colleagues. Others also deserve to know. And you will get credit for this. They do get noticed. The next generation will learn from your findings, and they will do better science than we could do.

I made a short movie

Two years ago I had a fantastic experience. It was a 4-day essay film course offered by the Derek Jarman Lab. Jarman Lab is connected to the University of Pittsburgh through its founder Professor Colin Maccabe. They came from London to teach us how to use film as means of communicating research. Everything had to be finished in just four days which also included some lecture time about the essay genre and documentary filmmaking. Through this course I learned a lot, I met amazing people and had a great time.

I chose to make a film about our research process. It is based on reality but it does not correspond to real events. One thing I learned about documentaries is that the director or producer has enormous power to steer or create narrative. This is very different from scientific papers where facts are supposed to be front and center.

I always planned to go back an re-cut my project, tune the sound levels and fix glitches. But I realized that Jarman Lab already have it on their website. So why not share it here?

As we were wrapping up, I had no time to add credits. But they are so due! Thanks to my actors Arash Mahboobin, Kelsey Cameron, Lily Ford, Bomin Zhang.

Special effects are by Bartek Dziadosz. Him and Lily were our teachers. They are terrific!

Music in the film is by Devon Tipp, who composed it while thinking about Majorana research. This music project deserves a separate blog post!

A Holiday Fairytale

‘T was the night before Christmas, and a Hannukah night. 
At the same time as Kwanzaa also happened have might… 

Gather round, children, for a tale of a little boy – not five years has he spent on this Earth in grad school. This little boy has been very good, he worked the hardest he could – and by year’s end he has submitted his very first paper to arxiv!

Feeling good, feeling proud – candles lit, blessings said 
He drank milk, brushed his teeth and was headed to bed. 

At this moment of peace and calm – an email arrived! It was from a world famous scientist. The scientist wrote that he read the boy’s paper! “With interest”! Oh! What a wonderful honor – thought the boy – for such a genius, who famously lived in a very tall tower of pure ivory – to have even glanced at my paper! 

The boy continued reading:

“I worked hundreds of years in the same field as you.
And the papers I’ve written are a million and two.
But of them, dear Sir, to my utmost dismight,
Every one, except twenty, you have failed to cite!”

The boy felt terrible. Has he been naughty? Was his h-index two sizes too small? Will he not get presents? Did they even get presents in their religion? He could not sleep. He started adding all the missing citations to his manuscript. 

“I should cite all the others who have worked very hard!”
And his small paper grew… Soon he needed a cart…

But then a magical fairy appeared. “Don’t be sad, I have a spell just for you”. And the fairy hacked into the webcam of famous scientist’s laptop. The scientist was typing and typing frantically. He was sending emails to all the people who posted their papers on arxiv that day.

“You see my dear friend” the fairy told “citations are not a form of respect, and they are not for giving credit. They are a tool to help understand the paper better. Excessive citing can make little readers confused, because they wouldn’t know which papers they should look up.”

The boy thought long and hard. He decided that the famous scientist is probably very lonely in his tall ivory tower. And the boy invited him to give a talk at their monthly graduate student seminar. The scientist agreed because there were cookies, hot chocolate and marshmallows.

University of Pittsburgh Physics ranked #1 in the world

Much has been said about the utmost vital need to be highly ranked. All sorts of important people, from prospective students to governments, take note of the one number to which your program is distilled by a prestigious, serious and rigorous ranking agency. At Pitt we did not enjoy particularly high rankings so far, which made us very-very sad.

Until today when we got a shot of awesome news – not only are we ranked high, but we are NUMBER ONE, in the WORLD (In the Universe most likely for that matter).

University of Pittsburgh Physics and Astronomy Department was ranked first in the world for the quality of coffee from a department coffee machine.

To the skeptics out there who might be wondering – how has this ranking been established? The same way as the US News report ranks graduate schools – we asked a few people. The US News survey department chairs in your discipline (let’s say physics) from US universities “name top physics/condensed matter/particle/astro graduate programs”. Some of them, maybe 30%, reply, and they do some math (likely addition and division) with those numbers, then they publish them for everyone to contemplate and make their life choices. So the ranking of graduate schools is based on the opinions of a few people who likely never been to most schools, haven’t seen their labs, haven’t read their papers, didn’t talk to their faculty and students…

Inspired by this great system, we did the same. We asked. We did not have time to ask all department chairs in the country, since we only had the idea this morning, so we just asked ourselves. But we’ve been to MANY departments. And we drank their coffee. And we are definitely number one, in physics, in this category.

(If you include other departments, e.g. chemistry, we would probably have to yield to the University of Oregon, though we are still to visit. If you include regular coffee shops, some of which are in the Physics buildings, we will probably also go down in ranking, quite far. If you ask department chairs to rank coffee machines, and then average their replies, you will get Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, Caltech etc.)

Faculty position in Quantum at Pitt

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Pitt has just announced an assistant professor search in the area of nanoscale electronics & photonics with emphasis on quantum computing.

ECE is across the street from Physics, and while this position will be the first in the quantum field for Pitt engineers, a successful candidate will be working next to a thriving cluster of quantum physics research at Pitt, as well as at nearby Carnegie Mellon University. With two state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities, supercomputers, and hopefully several more subsequent hires in quantum computing across the two campuses.

Applications are due by Jan. 7, 2019, although candidates will continue to be considered until positions are filled. Please submit a CV, research and teaching statements, and contact information for at least three references, all in a single PDF file, to

New equipment has arrived!

Labs get a lot of equipment when they just get set up. If you scroll back in this blog you will see how over the course of several years we went from an empty room to an entangled maze of pumping lines, cables and wires held in place by copious quantities of duct tape. But once a lab has been set up, and the startup funds have run out, a stationary period commences – and it can last for a loooong-long time, until the original stuff starts to break down.

Well, not the case in our brave lab! We just got a piece of equipment which inspired us to work harder, put idiotic smiles on our faces, started numerous stimulating discussions and is just generally awesome.

Here it is:

I am talking, of course, about our new bottomless portafilter. A portafilter is a holder with a black handle where you load and tamp ground coffee in order to extract espresso. A ‘bottomless’ portafilter has the nozzle on the bottom machined off so that you can see with your own eyes how espresso is formed, whether liquid is uniformly going through the basket or gushing through a crack in your puck, whether there is a lot of crema and so on. This has improved the quality of our espresso truly to the 3rd generation coffee shop level, and it has already improved the skills of our baristas-in-training.

Oh… and we have also received two additional dilution refrigerators, but I suppose that deserves a separate blog post.


First PhD defended!

Zhaoen Su (PhD 2017) is the first member of our group. Literally, he started in the summer of 2012 before I arrived to Pittsburgh. Together with others from the first cohort he built our research program from scratch – an empty room for a lab, and no cleanroom process for device fabrication.

Zhaoen first focused on Ge/Si nanowire devices. Through hard work he made great progress and achieved supercurrents and tunable double quantum dots. Facing an uphill battle with charge instabilities, he decided to transpose his project to InSb wires. He got excited about quantum dots coupled to superconducting contacts and realized Andreev molecules, which we have already written up. As Zhaoen begins his new position in the Bay Area, there are still 2 exciting experiments that he has performed waiting to be published.


You can see him holding a mini Cathedral of Learning in the gif above. Congratulations, Zhaoen, and good luck in Silicon Valley!

Quantum Computing for Nerds From Other Fields

Here are videos from the Quantum Computing Session at the Frontiers of Science Symposium organized by NAS last year. This event brings together young researchers from all fields of study to explain to each other what they are working on. So, if you are a quantum physicist, you will not learn from these videos. If you are my grandmother, same – unless you are my grandmother with a PhD. If you are a biologist, an astrophysicist or a historian – these vidoes may be interesting for you.

Quantum Computing – Krysta Svore, Microsoft Research from Kavli Frontiers of Science on Vimeo.

Quantum Computing – Sergey Frolov, University of Pittsburgh from Kavli Frontiers of Science on Vimeo.

Quantum Computing – Aram W. Harrow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Kavli Frontiers of Science on Vimeo.

Thanks to Emanuel Gull and Daniela Oliveira for organizing the session.

Postdoc positions available in Frolov lab

Postdoctoral position in experiment quantum nanoscience is available at Frolov lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Research topics include but are not limited to non-Abelian statistics and topological qubits with Majorana fermions; interacting topological phases and work towards the discovery of parafermions; quantum simulation with semiconductor nanostructures such as quantum dots in nanowires. Typical projects involve a collaboration with a graduate student, extensive use of on-campus facilities at Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, and low temperature transport measurements in dilution refrigerators. Interested candidates should email their CV and describe their interests in an email to

New Trends in Trending

Today Nature Publishing House has announced the creation of a new and long overdue journal dedicated to publishing the ‘most hottest’ high impact research. The new magazine, called ‘New Trends in Trending’ is dedicated to publishing results that would not have been otherwise published in any other journal for at least five years into the future. Alongside this so-called ‘hyper-original research’, the new monthly will feature a horoscope, and comes with a lottery to win an Island off the coast of Kamchatka.

“Our aim is the impact factor of 1000” wrote Chief Editor Dr. Quickley R. Lookthrough in his first editorial “and our market study tells us this is how we get there”.

Manuscript submission guidelines require that along with the scientific title of each submitted manscript, the authors provide a ‘clickbait’ version of the title ‘to facilitate the broadest dissemination of to the most general audience possible’. A ‘clickbait’ title is meant to convey the premise of the work, but leave the conclusion concealed such that the reader is encouraged to click on the link to find out more. In order to assist the authors, the following clickbait title examples are provided:

They were measuring a graphene device, and then THIS happened!

Thirty-two line plots with error bars that will blow your mind. (You won’t believe the number seventeen!)

Two electrons did whaaat?

If you are doing science and you are older than 3 and younger than 98 you are in for a big surprise

Jaw-dropping discovery hits the field of dissipative porous multiphase systems like a hurricane

These quantum systems thought nobody was watching…

Why this new scaling theory is breaking the internet

Experimentalists feel stupid for not doing these measurements

Don’t read this if you DO NOT want a Nobel Prize

Group website

Sometime during the first year of our group I asked one of my graduate students to put together a group website. “Let’s first finish our first paper” he replied. This attitude shows how seriously we take websites. Not just anything deserves to have a website. Only things of staggering beautymind-blowing webdesign or the friendliest user interface can be websites. Still,

Now that our group has fired out the first series of papers, and even though the papers are still painfully making their way through the antiquated journal system, it is time to unveil a modest yet informative little website.

As a side effect, since this blog no longer represents our whole group my hands are now officially untied, and I can proclaim the most ridiculous thoughts here.

First paper finished

High critical magnetic field superconducting contacts to Ge/Si core/shell nanowires

Screenshot 2016-10-10 23.13.27.png

My group has crossed an important milestone today – we have finalized and uploaded to arxiv our first publication. We are working on several of them simultaneously, and by the luck of the draw the first one out is a paper in which we share our experience making a particular type of nanowire superconducting.

The one and only good thing about writing papers is that it stimulates the authors to think about the experiment they have done in a special way: to find explanations for strange values and effects that only come forward when you give it that extra careful look. That tenth reading that you do under duress of scientific correctness. When we transition into the era of open science, we will share all our results on the fly, and look like fools for all our misconceptions and mistakes, but we will correct each other and move forward much faster. We will parallelize our intellects to think about each other’s work and won’t need to read the same text over and over again not to miss an embarassing mistake.

For now we just keep writing papers.