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Bubblegate Key Milestones

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2003 Lefteri Tsoukalas, head of School of Nuclear Engineering, hires Rusi Taleyarkhan, with expectation that Taleyarkhan will help develop bubble/sonofusion program at Purdue.

2004 Tsoukalas leads group performing bubble/sonofusion research at Purdue. Tsoukalas sends e-mail to Taleyarkhan telling him of findings of positive tritium results by Clikeman, member of Tsoukalas' group. [page 59]

2005 (Feb. 10) Adam Butt, graduate student at Purdue, gives demonstration of his thorough knowledge of and experience with bubble fusion research at Purdue in front of numerous Purdue faculty including Sally Mason, former provost, and Linda Katehi, dean of the College of Engineering. (videotape)


Adam Butt's Bubble Fusion Lecture (Feb. 10 2005)

2005 UCLA scuttles DARPA-sponsored replication attempt of Taleyarkhan's bubble fusion experiment by deliberately adding noncondensable gases to the experiment, which kills bubble fusion result. [pages 49-56]

2005 (July) Purdue issues press release announcing bubble fusion replication work of Butt and post-doctoral researcher Yiban Xu and their paper in Nuclear Engineering and Design.

2005 (July) Purdue Primary Committee votes on tenure and promotions in School of Nuclear Engineering. Rusi Taleyarkhan, professor of nuclear engineering, votes against Lefteri Tsoukalas, head of school. [page 63]

2006 (February) Tsoukalas obtains statement from Butt. [page 65] Statement says Butt was not involved in bubble fusion research. Statement is not signed, notarized or taken under oath. It does not state that it was written willingly and without influence and duress from any other individuals.

2006 (March 1, 2 p.m.) Seth Putterman of UCLA insinuates fraud during DARPA meeting. [page 41]

2006 (March 1, 4 p.m.) Eugenie Samuel Reich contacts Taleyarkhan about Putterman's insinuation. [page 42]

2006 (March 7) Brian Naranjo (UCLA) uploads published paper to Web regarding Putterman's insinuation.

2006 (March 8) Kenneth Chang writes first related news article for New York Times

2006 (March 8) Reich writes first related news article for Nature

2006 (March) Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic quoted in Nature making serious allegations against Taleyarkhan. Taleyarkhan's competitors at UCLA (Putterman) and UIUC (Ken Susslick) quoted in media reports that suggest that Taleyarkhan has committed science fraud. News of fraud is rapidly transmitted worldwide through media syndication.

(Around this time, allegations surface that Taleyarkhan, desperate for recognition of an independent replication of bubble fusion, inappropriately inserted Butt's name into published papers and that Butt had nothing to do with the work.)
2006 (October) Tsoukalas is removed as head of School of Nuclear Engineering [page 2]

2006 (October) Taleyarkhan group disprove Putterman and Naranjo fraud insinuation. [page 45] (UCLA video)

2007 (May) Rep. Brad Miller, D-NC, chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, completes investigation of Taleyarkhan matter. Miller's report cites alleged statement from Butt as key evidence of research misconduct by Taleyarkhan. Media, other government agencies and Purdue administration pick up reference to Butt document and cast cloud over Taleyarkhan's research and character.

2008 (Feb. 1) Taleyarkhan is present when Butt (over telephone) is cross-examined by attorneys. Taleyarkhan states that Butt a) fails to confirm facts attributed to his alleged written statement and b) fails to remember facts that conflict with his alleged written statement. Taleyarkhan writes that Butt video and affidavits of Mize, [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] provide evidence contrary to statements made by Butt under oath.

(Around this time, all formal accusations of science fraud against Taleyarkhan are dismissed.)

2008 (July) Purdue completes investigation of Taleyarkhan matter and issues judgment against Taleyarkhan for research misconduct. Purdue uses alleged statement from Butt as key evidence. Purdue distributes press release before completion of appeals process.

2008 (August) After appeals process is complete, Purdue sanctions Taleyarkhan for research misconduct. Purdue orders demotion, cuts salary, distributes press release.

2008 (August) Tsoukalas begins yearlong paid sabbatical in Greece.