On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of by David Goodstein

By David Goodstein

Fraud in technology isn't really as effortless to spot as one may imagine. whilst accusations of medical misconduct take place, fact can frequently be elusive, and the reason for a scientist's moral misstep isn't transparent. On truth and Fraud appears at real circumstances during which fraud used to be devoted or alleged, explaining what constitutes medical misconduct and what does not, and supplying readers with the moral foundations had to determine and stay away from fraud anyplace it could arise.

In David Goodstein's different experience--as a physicist and educator, and as vice provost at Caltech, a role during which he was once accountable for investigating all allegations of medical misconduct--a deceptively basic query has arise repeatedly: what constitutes fraud in technological know-how? right here, Goodstein takes us on a travel of actual controversies from front strains of technological know-how and is helping readers ensure for themselves even if fraud happened. situations contain, between others, these of Robert A. Millikan, whose ancient size of the electron's cost has been maligned by way of accusations of fraud; Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons and their "discovery" of chilly fusion; Victor Ninov and the meant discovery of aspect 118; Jan Hendrik Schön from Bell Labs and his paintings in semiconductors; and J. Georg Bednorz and Karl Müller's discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, a possible very unlikely accomplishment that grew to become out to be real.

On truth and Fraud presents a user's advisor to determining, averting, and combating fraud in technology, alongside the best way delivering worthwhile insights into how smooth technology is practiced.

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Extra info for On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science

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Thomson. This was not because they disagreed scientifically but because both wanted to be remembered in history as the father of the electron. As things turned out, there was more than enough credit to go around. In recent years, Millikan’s life and pronouncements have become a juicy target for certain historians, partly because he was white, male, very much a part of the establishment, and, of course, no longer here to defend himself. On the issue of sexism, for example, there is a letter in which Millikan advised the president of Duke University, W.

If true, this assertion would have effectively demolished Millikan’s claim to have accurately measured the fundamental unit charge of the electron, with the further implication that as electricity was not composed of discrete unit charges, the electron did not in fact exist. ” To refute Ehrenhaft’s assertion, Millikan (now working alone; Fletcher had gotten his doctorate and left) made a new series of measurements, in which he set out to demonstrate that the charge on every single oil droplet he studied equaled the value he had experimentally established for e or was, within a very narrow range of error, an integer multiple of a single value of e.

When Fletcher finally persuaded the busy Millikan to look through his telescope at the dancing, suspended droplets of oil, Millikan immediately abandoned all his efforts to pull off the experiment with water and turned his attention to refining the oil-drop method. It took a couple of years, but by around 1910 Fletcher and Millikan had produced two results. 774 × 10-10 electrostatic units) of the unit electric charge (called e), which they determined from observing how rapidly or how slowly the oil drops rose or fell in gravitational and electric fields.

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