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Retraction opposed by me

Posted by LeifHolmlid on 23 Feb 2019 at 14:24 GMT

The action by Plos One on my paper which was retracted by the journal on 19-02-23 is astonishing. The retraction procedure did not involve a scientific evaluation. I have informed the journal that the experimental results on the time constants are correct. Such results have been published by me in several other papers, both prior to and after the Plos One publication. They have also been repeated by other groups. There is thus no problem with the experimental results. The suggested problem with "amplified electronics placed in the vicinity of intense laser irradiation experiments" is easily disproved by the results given in the paper. Three different decay time constants are measured, which agree with the well-known meson decay time constants. The time constants are different at the inner and the outer collector just moving the cable with the laser and the oscilloscope unchanged. The decay time constants are also different with different collector bias. Some types of signals do not even have a long decay time constant. See for example table 1 with data from figs. 12 and 11. The suggested problem with the electronics clearly does not exist. The laser used is also quite weak, at < 0.2 J pulse energy, in 5 ns long pulses not really giving "an intense laser irradiation experiment" whatever that means with so much stronger lasers used in many laboratories today.
The main content of this Plos One paper is further not the decay time constants, which had been published previously elsewhere, but the main content concerns deflection of the relativistic particles with velocity up to 0.75c in magnetic fields. These results are not influenced by any decay time constant measurements, and they show very clearly that the relativistic particles are lighter than baryons, with masses like mesons or muons. This is the main result of the paper and it cannot be discarded as due to laser created artifacts, but this result has been overlooked or not understood by the reviewers.
Of course, I do not yet know the exact process creating the mesons, but it is expected of me as author that I should propose some mechanism for this. Such a process is suggested on p. 5 in the paper. It has been interpreted by other scientists as implying that the number of baryons is not conserved, which is not in agreement with the so-called baryon law. Of course, it is just an empirical rule. Time will show if this is a case where the baryon number is truly not conserved, of if another process is responsible for the meson generation. Of course, the few lines on p. 5 giving a model for the meson generation could be removed or weakened, but Plos One has instead retracted the entire paper with its large number of advanced experiments. This not a scientific and unbiased treatment.

No competing interests declared.