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National Briefing / INDIANA

Nuclear scientist sues colleagues

October 14, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A Purdue University scientist who was reprimanded for research misconduct over claims he produced nuclear fusion in tabletop experiments is suing two other faculty members for alleged defamation.

Rusi P. Taleyarkhan, a professor of nuclear engineering, said in a complaint filed in Tippecanoe Superior Court that Lefteri Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic made false and malicious public statements that led to "a successful campaign to ruin Taleyarkhan and his sonofusion research."

Taleyarkhan published a paper in the journal Science in 2002, claiming he had produced nuclear fusion using a tabletop experiment that collapsed tiny bubbles in a liquid with powerful ultrasound vibrations.

A Purdue panel did not investigate the paper, which was published when Taleyarkhan was a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, but it said he misled the scientific community by claiming his findings had been independently replicated. In August, the university stripped Taleyarkhan of his named professorship in nuclear engineering.

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