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Here’s a supercool controversy for ya

Raghu Parthasarathy writes:

You might like this very good article by Ashley Smart on a recent fight about the statistical mechanics of water, and a feud that was made worse by a lack of sharing code

Condensed matter theory! That’s what I worked on, back when I was a physicist. We did an experiment that demonstrated superheating of silicon. It turns out it can get really hot inside and still not liquefy, as long as the wafer is defect-free so that there’s no place for the melting to start.

9 Comments

  1. Jonathan (another one) says:

    “We’ll never know if the results were enough to sway Chandler; that April, the 72-year-old professor emeritus succumbed to prostate cancer.”

    Cue Max Planck…

  2. Jens Åström says:

    So from the article I got the impression that the fault was in using “incorrect” initial values for the MCMC sampling. Was that all? Scary that that could have such effects. Or was it improper priors?

    Anyone understands this and could explain it like I’m not at condensed matter theorist (ELINCMT)?

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