----
 

Record of Communications with Kulp (APS)

 

From: Daniel Kulp
To: rusi@ecn.purdue.edu
Cc: Daniel Kulp
Sent: Sep 24, 2008 4:30 PM
Subject: RE: PRL 96, 034301 (2006)

Dear Dr. Taleyarkhan,

It has recently come to our attention that Purdue University upheld their findings, as detailed in their report released this past April, and turned down your appeal. Since the investigation found faults with statements published in Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 034301 (2006), we are obligated to inform readers of the extent that the decision impacts this Letter. We are contacting your coauthors of this Letter to inform them of our intended actions. We would also be interested in hearing your comments prior to publishing an appropriate Editorial Note.

Daniel T. Kulp
Editorial Director
American Physical Society

dan@aps.org
631-591-4000

********************************

At 01:38 PM 9/24/2008, rusi@purdue.edu wrote:

Don't know what to make of this note from APS.

I know each of you have written that we all refuse to retract our statement in the 2006 PRL paper.

If you recall, many months ago we actually submitted a clarification note to the junior editor Malefant who refused to publish a clarification stating PRL policy could only allow them to publish an erratum -meaning we would have to admit to an error. This appears a good time to resubmit that clarification since the senior editor seems to be inviting the same. However, the continuing damage to us and to the discovery is obvious from the malicious, libelous idiotic actions of Purdue and Reich of Nature.

Rusi

********************************

[Taleyarkhan response]

********************************

Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 09:06:34
To: <rusi@purdue.edu>
Cc: Daniel Kulp; [co-author list]
Subject: Re: PRL 96, 034301 (2006) (rpt-kulp, 9.24.08)

Dear Dr. Taleyarkhan:

Thank you for your prompt response. I have enclosed the version of the Editorial Note that I was intending to publish, but, as I said, I would welcome comments from you and your coauthors before proceeding.
In this Note below, I simply state the results of the investigation and indicate its limited impact on the Letter in general.

Daniel T. Kulp
Editorial Director
American Physical Society

dan@aps.org
631-591-4000

********************************

Original Document
Editorial Note: Nuclear emissions during self-nucleated acoustic cavitation [Phys.
Rev. Lett. 96, 034301 (2006)]

R.P. Taleyarkhan, C.D. West, R.T. Lahey, Jr., R.I. Nigmatulin, R.C. Block, and Y. Xu
PACS numbers: 78.60.Mq 25.45.-z 28.20.-v 28.52.-s 99.10.-x

In a report released to Purdue University [1] on 18 April 2008, a university investigative committee found that the author, D. P. Taleyarkhan, acted to falsify the research record by asserting in the opening paragraph of the above mentioned Letter that ”these observations [referring to Science 295, 1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed.” This Editorial Note is meant to make readers aware of this inaccuracy.

[1] http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080718PurdueReport.pdf.

********************************

Dick/Bob/Robert/Colin/Yiban:

Pl. see email from Dr. Kulp (Editorial Director of APS) graciously inviting views /comments for his
Editorial Note. I had informed him that our group would respond within a week to 10 days.

I have prepared a draft Response (MS Word .docx file) based on individual comments and feedback
from you all this past week. Pl. let me know by cob Friday if you wish to make any changes or
corrections. Otherwise, I shall finalize and soon thereafter, send to Dr. Kulp of APS who I have put
on cc list so he knows we have not dropped the ball.

Best,

Rusi Taleyarkhan
--
Rusi P. Taleyarkhan, Ph.D., M.B.A

********************************

[Taleyarkhan response]

********************************

Subject: Re: Response to Editorial Note by APS's Editorial Director Dr Kulp re: PRL 96, 034301
(2006) (rpt-coauthors;10.1.08)]
From: Daniel Kulp <dan@ridge.aps.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 16:47:48 -0400
To: Rusi Taleyarkhan <rusi@purdue.edu>
CC: Daniel Kulp <dan@ridge.aps.org>

Dr Taleyarkhan:

I appreciate the time and effort you, and your coauthors, have made to respond, but I think I need to
clarify the journal's position as far as Editorial Notes are concerned. These Notes are not like Comments
where published Replies are included to give "both sides of the story." These Notes are intended to
make readers aware of new information related to the article in question. The Purdue University report
is a public document to which we are pointing. Rather than expand this into a larger discussion of the
details, it is the journal's intent to keep the Note simple and to the point. I am willing to add a line or two
indicating that you and your coauthors disagree with the findings, but there was no intent to have you
formally respond to the Note in print. My original note was meant to get your side of the story so that
the Note would express the appropriate information on your stance. I am truly sorry that I missed your
reference that you are preparing "a thoughtful statement to help clarify [the situation] to the worldwide
readership" and clarify the situation earlier.

Daniel T. Kulp
Editorial Director
American Physical Society

********************************

Dear Dr. Taleyarkhan:

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you with the final version of the Editorial Note. After extensive discussion at Ridge, we have decided that a minimal statement is the appropriate format for the Note. With the extensive dissemination of details of this case through multiple forums (the BBC program, Physics Today article, etc.), it seems inappropriate for us to attempt to organize or direct readers to specific sources, especially since the ramifications to the PRL in question is limited to one sentence in the Introduction.
Therefore, we have decided to limit the Editorial Note to simply state that the Purdue Investigative Committee has come a conclusion which questions the validity of a single sentence in the Letter and that is all. I know you will find this disappointing, but you and your coauthors seem to have an ever growing number of options and forums in which to argue your case, and since its direct impact on this Letter is minimal, it is inappropriate to carry the discussion into our journal.

At this time I cannot predict when it will be published, but my expectations is that it will happen within the next week. I rest assured that you, as corresponding author, will communicate this decision to your coauthors.

Daniel T. Kulp
Editorial Director
American Physical Society

********************************

 

Original Document
Editorial Note: Nuclear emissions during self-nucleated acoustic cavitation [Phys.
Rev. Lett. 96, 034301 (2006)]

R.P. Taleyarkhan, C.D. West, R.T. Lahey, Jr., R.I. Nigmatulin, R.C. Block, and Y. Xu
PACS numbers: 78.60.Mq 25.45.-z 28.20.-v 28.52.-s 99.10.-x

In a report released to Purdue University [1] on 18 April 2008, a university investigative committee found that the author, R. P. Taleyarkhan, acted to distort the research record by asserting in the opening paragraph of the above mentioned Letter that ”these observations [referring to Science 295, 1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed.” This Editorial Note is meant to make readers aware of this finding.

[1] http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080718PurdueReport.pdf.

 

 

********************************

On Oct 24, 2008, at 2:23 AM, Steve Krivit wrote:

Daniel Kulp,

Can you please tell me the status on "Editorial Note: Nuclear emissions during self-nucleated acoustic cavitation [Phys.Rev. Lett. 96, 034301 (2006)]" and when you expect it to publish?

Thank you,

Steve

********************************

From: Daniel Kulp <dan@ridge.aps.org>
To: Steve Krivit
Subject: Re: Editorial Note: Nuclear emissions
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 08:55:00 -0400

Dear Mr. Krivit,

I am currently discussing changes to the Editorial Note, based on the input I received from Dr. Taleyarkhan and his coauthors, with the Editor-in-Chief. This is complicated by the fact that he is currently out of the office. I expect to publish the Editorial Note in early November at the latest.

Daniel T. Kulp
Editorial Director
American Physical Society

dan@aps.org
631-591-4000

********************************

To: "Steve Krivit"
"Richard, Ellie Lahey,jr.", nigmar,"Robert Block", "Colin West"
Subject: Fw: Editorial Note on PRL 96, 034301 (2006)
From: rusi@purdue.edu
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 05:24:46 +0000

First Kulp requested a comment and offered to allow two sentences for balance and then ultimately decides to report only Purdue's finding directed only on to me disregarding the stand from all coauthors that it was a joint decision.

The tone and tenor of his email message does not match the public statement.

[Rusi]

*******************************

Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2008 15:23:21 -0500
From: Rusi Taleyarkhan <rusi@purdue.edu>
To: Daniel Kulp <dan@ridge.aps.org>
Subject: Response to: Editorial Note on PRL 96, 034301 (2006) (rpt->D.Kulp;11.7.08)

Dear Dr. Kulp:

I just returned from travel to read your note of day before yesterday (11.7.08). It is distressing to read that despite your own invitation to comment and the offer to include a sentence or two for a balanced Editorial note, the Editorial note attached to the 11.5.08 email does not acknowledge the combined statement from the entire author group, preferring instead to focus attention on a single co-author (namely Taleyarkhan) and leaving out the rest.

While it is true that outlets such as Physics Today and New Energy Times are available on occasion on ad hoc basis to express opinions, the fact remains that our manuscript in question was published by PRL not the others you quote; and, importantly, your note is addressed to PRL-specific readership, and therefore, balance in reporting which you wanted to achieve is indeed important, but it is absent in the proposed note of 11.5.08.

While the wording of your email is mild in it's reporting " .. to simply state that the Purdue Inv.C has come to a conclusion which questions the validity of a single sentence ...", the formal Editorial note you transmitted on 11.5.08 to me uses critical and defamatory language "...acted to distort the research record..."
Along these lines, in fairness, I have to ask

(a) that you modify the language of the Editorial note to remain consistent with what you actually state and advise us in your email and replace the language "... acted to distort the research record.." with " .. questions the validity of a single sentence.." and, (b) respecting your wish to not have PRL further direct readers to specific sources (despite the fact that the note already directs them to the specific Purdue source), to append the following sentence to inform PRL readership of what your office itself has found from invited comment per your 9.24.08 email (attched) and per your 10.1.08 Email (attached) informing of your willingness to add a sentence or two "I am willing to add a line or two indicating that you and your coauthors disagree with the findings," :

"The authors of PRL 96 034301 (2006), upon invitation to comment unanimously reject the conclusions of the April 18, 2008 Purdue Investigation Report (1), and reaffirm their position on the accuracy of the statement related to the observations being independently confirmed."

This sentence has been agreed upon by all of us, and I am placing my co-authors on cc list so they are informed of this exchange with you as well.

Sincerely,

--
Rusi P. Taleyarkhan, Ph.D., M.B.A

********************************

Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2008 23:30:51 +0300
From: "Robert Nigmatulin"
To: dan@aps.org
Subject: Editorial Note
Cc: "Rusi Taleyarkhan" <rusi@purdue.edu>
Dear Dr. Kulp,

Dr. Taleyarkhan sent me your letter where you are writing on your decision to publish the editorial note on our paper with 6 authors. You are going to state on our joint paper: " ... R.P. Taleyarkhan, acted to distort the research record by asserting ...". It is very stange note on the paper with 6 authors selecting only one author (R. Taleyarkhan). Not only R. Taleyarkhan but other 5 co-authors (C. West, R. Lahey, R. Nigmatulin, R. Block, Y. Xu) "acted" together "to distort the research record by asserting...". Only all coauthors can state what sentence does belong to one of the co-authors. None of us agree that only R. Taleyarkhan wrote the assertion on the independent confirmation.
Trying to be independent and not to be involved in Purdue scandal you are repeating the Purdue administration's statement which is out of logic and out of ethics.
I hope that in spite of my non-perfect English you clarify the idea.

Sincerely yours

Robert Nigmatulin

-----------------------------------------------------------
RUSSIAN ACADEMY of SCIENCES
Academician, Member of Presidium
Robert I. NIGMATULIN
DIRECTOR of P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
Professor, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics,

36 Nakhimovskiy pr.
MOSCOW, 117997, RUSSIA
-----------------------------------------------------------
Tel.: + 7-495 124 5996
Fax.: + 7-495 124 5983
nigmar@ocean.ru

********************************

Cc: [co-author list]
From: Daniel Kulp <dan@ridge.aps.org>
To: Rusi Taleyarkhan <rusi@purdue.edu>
Subject: Re: Response to: Editorial Note on PRL 96, 034301 (2006) (rpt->D.Kulp;11.7.08)
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2008 15:49:02 -0500

Dear Dr. Taleyarkhan:

I am currently overwhelmed by preparations for our annual Editor's Meeting this weekend. I see now, with your response, that I must have sent an earlier version of the Editorial Note. As you stated, the intent was to use the language in my letter. I will insure that that wording is properly in place. As to the rest of your message, I will have to absorb that and respond next week.

Daniel T. Kulp

********************************

Subject: PRL Editorial comment
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 12:43:14 -0500
From: "Block, Robert"
To: "Daniel Kulp"
Cc: [co-author list]

Dear Dr. Kulp,

 I received a copy of your 2nd revision of an editorial note that you are planning for publication in PRL. As one of the six co-authors of PRL 96,034301 (2006) I resent the implication (put out by Purdue) that Dr. Taleyarkhan was the sole individual who asserted that “these observations have been independently confirmed”.  We all assert that to the best of our collective knowledge they have been independently confirmed.

I testified at the last Purdue hearing and am convinced that Purdue had already decided to destroy Dr. Taleyarkhan for reasons that had little, if anything, to do with science.  The only charge against Dr. Taleyarkhan that they finally used to discredit him was that a graduate student’s name was added to the paper after it had been essentially written and that the graduate student did only a small amount of work on the research.  As a former professor I applaud adding students to papers—it provides them with a publication as well as experience in scientific publication—and in my opinion Purdue has twisted this to discredit Dr. Taleyarkhan.  I would be loath to believe that Physical Review would be part of this process. 

    **************Revision 2 of PRL Editorial Note****************

Editorial Note: Nuclear emissions during self-nucleated acoustic cavitation [Phys.Rev. Lett. 96, 034301 (2006)]R.P. Taleyarkhan, C.D. West, R.T. Lahey, Jr., R.I. Nigmatulin, R.C. Block, and Y. Xu
PACS numbers: 78.60.Mq 25.45.-z 28.20.-v 28.52.-s 99.10.-x

In a report released to Purdue University [1] on 18 April 2008, a university investigative committee found that the author, R. P. Taleyarkhan, acted to distort the research record by asserting in the opening paragraph of the above mentioned Letter that ”these observations [referring to Science 295, 1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed.” This Editorial Note is meant to make readers aware of this finding.

[1] http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080718PurdueReport.pdf.

    **************end of Revision 2 of PRL Editorial Note****************

        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                            
Robert C. Block              
                      Professor Emeritus

********************************

Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 17:29:42 -0500
To: dan@ridge.aps.org
From: "Dr. Richard T. Lahey" <laheyr@rpi.edu>
Subject: Rusi Taleyarkhan and our 2006 PRL paper
Cc: [co-author list], sbenka@aip.org, jack.sandweiss@yale.edu, bglevi@msn.com

November 11 , 2008

Dr. Kulp,

From the very beginning I have been an active member of the research team which discovered Sonofusion, and have co-authored many papers on this subject with Dr. Talyerarkhan. I can assure you that our research and the related publications have always been a team effort, and that we all stand behind the conclusions reached in these publications (including those in our 2006 PRL paper that you are apparently concerned about).It is very unfair to single-out Professor Taleyarkhan for criticism of the conclusions reached or wording used in any of our papers on Sonofusion.

Our research team includes world-class researchers who have vast experience in energy-related research and have received numerous awards for their past achievements, have held senior staff/management positions in government, industry and academia and several are members of the NAE and the Russian Academy of Sciences. We are certainly not irresponsible, fly-by-night type researchers who would ever try to “pull something over” on the readership of the technical journals that we publish in. While certain words may mean different things to different people, there was never any intent on our part to mislead the readership of your journal (2006 PRL) concerning the independence of the confirmatory results of Xu et al.

Sonofusion experiments are very difficult to perform, and without some help from Professor Taleyarkhan it is doubtful that Dr. Xu et al. would have had a successful experiment ( witness the problems that researchers at UCLA have had) . Anyway, Dr. Xu has fully acknowledged Rusi’s help in his 2005 NED publication and he has clearly stated on numerous occasions ( and given a sworn deposition ) that the performance of his confirmatory Sonofusion experiments, and the associated data analysis, were performed independently by him and Mr. Butt. Thus I believe that these results were indeed independent confirmation ( i.e., not performed by any members of our research team ) of our seminal discovery (Science , 2002 ).

As the former Dean of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) I am quite familiar with how nasty campus politics can get, but even I was appalled by the lengthy "witch hunt" which was conducted at Purdue to try to discredit Professor Taleyarkhan and Sonofusion technology. Nevertheless, it is significant that after numerous detailed investigations all charges related to research fraud were dismissed ( i.e., there was no reason found not to believe that Sonofusion was measured by us and later by Xu et al.) . However , it appears that several new charges were made during the course of the last investigation , and these resulted in findings of research misconduct on the part of Dr. Taleyarkhan. One was related to his alleged role in making Mr. Butt ( a graduate student at Purdue at the time) a co-author of Dr. Xu’s subsequent NED paper, and the other, as noted above , with the use of the word independent in our 2006 PRL paper. In my mind these are relatively minor charges, ones that have no real basis, and by no means justify the severe punishments that Professor Taleyarkhan has been subjected to by Purdue. Indeed, it seems that he has been made a “scape goat” by the administration at Purdue, presumably to appease Congress. In short , this has nothing to do with Science....

Anyway, all this is not your fault, but I see no reason for you to worry about the basic validity of our 2006 PRL paper or how the readership might be misled by our 2006 PRL paper. Indeed I see no pressing need for any Editorial Note associated with this paper.

Dr. Richard T. Lahey , Jr.
The Edward E. Hood Professor Emeritus of Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institue
Troy , New York

********************************

Dear Dr. Kulp,
 
Professor Block's comment to you today, "I would be loath to believe that Physical Review would be part of this process," reminds me to try yet again to alert you to the possible misfortune you and APS may be entering into.
 
You seem to be missing a fundamental point.
 
Your Sept. 25 version of your Editorial Note stated that Taleyarkhan (though not his coauthors) "acted to falsify the research record by asserting in the opening paragraph of the above mentioned Letter that 'these observations [referring to Science 295, 1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed.'
 
Your Nov. 6 "final version" stated "acted to distort the research record by asserting in the opening paragraph of the above mentioned Letter that 'these observations [referring to Science 295, 1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed.'
 
You are missing a key point. An act to "falsify" or even the less-legal term, "distort," assumes that there was some intent on the part of Taleyarkhan et al. to state that which was not so.
 
Would such intent have been the case, then yes, it might have been appropriate for Purdue to sanction Taleyarkhan for research misconduct, assuming that there was no legitimate basis for using the word "independent."
 
It's not even the point that Purdue fabricated the allegations as I already told you and Barbara Gross Levi - which she apparently decided to ignore. On that matter, you can judge for yourself to see if you think Purdue played a shell game with the allegations by watching this four-minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPZ0H4wZj04
 
Your main problem is that you have collapsed the distinction between intent and effect.
 
Taleyarkhan and co-authors did use the word "independent." The minor problem is that "independence" is not a binary condition, there are degrees of independence. Taleyarkhan's rebuttal appeal to Purdue provides some of the relevant data (See excerpt in this attachment: DRAFT Bubblegate Judging Independence.pdf)
 
The major point that you seem to be missing is that Taleyarkhan et al. firmly and consistently believed that the work was independently confirmed.

Hence, there is not, and never was - based on all of my interviews with Taleyarkhan and coauthors and my reading of every public document that exists on the Purdue matter - any intent to deceive, distort or falsify. 
 
At most, Taleyarkhan et al. are "guilty" of  expressing their opinion - which may or may not be shared by others - that their work was independently replicated.
 
Steven B. Krivit
Editor, New Energy Times

 

********************************

Dear Dr. Taleyarkhan:

I have now discussed this thoroughly with the Editor-in-Chief and a conclusion has been reached. It is our intention to publish the attached Editorial Note before the end of the year. I have tried to take into account the concerns of all the authors within the limitations of the Note. Please share this as appropriate.

Daniel T. Kulp

Original Document
Editorial Note: Nuclear emissions during self-nucleated acoustic cavitation [Phys.
Rev. Lett. 96, 034301 (2006)]

R.P. Taleyarkhan, C.D. West, R.T. Lahey, Jr., R.I. Nigmatulin, R.C. Block, and Y. Xu
PACS numbers: 78.60.Mq 25.45.-z 28.20.-v 28.52.-s 99.10.-x

In a report released to Purdue University [1] on 18 April 2008, a university investigative committee came to a conclusion that questions the validity of a single sentence in the opening paragraph of the above mentioned Letter which asserts that ”these observations [referring to Science 295, 1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed.” This Editorial Note is meant to make readers aware of this finding.

[1] http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080718PurdueReport.pdf.

 





On Nov 22, 2008, at 7:27 PM, Rusi Taleyarkhan wrote:

Dear Dr. Kulp:

I write to acknowledge your email of 11.21.08 and the decision of APS on this matter and have communicated the same to my co-authors (cc to this email) accordingly, to advise them of the forthcoming APS-concluded Editorial Note (per your attachment of 11.21.08 email to me).

On behalf of myself and my co-authors: Happy Thanksgiving to APS, to you and family.

Sincerely,

Rusi Taleyarkhan, Professor
Purdue University

********************************

From: dan@ridge.aps.org
To: rusitaleyarkhan@msn.com
Subject: Re: Editorial Note (rpt->D.Kulp;11.22.08)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 09:19:42 -0500

Dear Dr. Taleyarkhan:

Thank you for your note. I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving as well. Despite all the 'hubbub' concerning the Purdue report, rest assured that you are surrounded by good coauthors, and a firm belief in yourself and your work.

Daniel T. Kulp
Editorial Director
American Physical Society


 

 

From: Rusi Taleyarkhan <rusitaleyarkhan@msn.com>
To: Richard Lahey <laheyr@rpi.edu>, Robert Block <blockr@rpi.edu>, Robert
Nigmatulin <nigmar@gmail.com>, JaeSeon Cho <jaeseoncho@hotmail.com>, Colin
West <herderwest@comcast.net>
CC: John Lewis <lewis@lewisandwilkins.com>, Steve Krivit
<stevek@newenergytimes.com>, <rusitaleyarkhan@msn.com>
Subject: Compliments and Note from American Physical Society Editorial
Director FW: Editorial Note (rpt->D.Kulp;11.22.08)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 10:57:39 -0800
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 24 Nov 2008 18:57:39.0327 (UTC) FILETIME=[85AF78F0:01C94E66]

Folks:

Thought this kind note from D. Kulp (Editorial Director of APS) represents a vindication of sorts, and a de facto position statement for our work and bubble fusion research - from the leadership of the American Physical Society.

Congratulations and Happy thanksgiving to us all.

Thx, Rusi