Image: Taleyarkhan
Lynn Freeny  /  U.S. Department of Energy file
Purdue professor Rusi Taleyarkhan is shown here with a tabletop-fusion experiment in a U.S. Department of Energy facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn. A Purdue University panel investigating Taleyarkhan's claims says "several matters merit further investigation."
updated 9/11/2007 8:12:34 AM ET 2007-09-11T12:12:34

A Purdue University panel that reviewed misconduct allegations against a scientist who claims he produced "tabletop fusion" has concluded that "several matters merit further investigation."

The finding was announced without elaboration in the case of Purdue nuclear engineering professor Rusi Taleyarkhan.

He published research in 2002 saying he had used a simple tabletop experiment to unleash fusion, the force that powers stars. He has come under fire since then because other scientists have tried without success to reproduce his fusion work.

"The review has been diligent and wide-ranging," Purdue spokesman Joseph L. Bennett said in a statement, declining to elaborate on the committee's findings.

The panel's report of its work has been turned over to the Office of Naval Research, which financed some of Taleyarkhan's work, Bennett said. The university began its latest review at the direction of the ONR.

Purdue announced its most recent inquiry of his work in May, three months after an internal inquiry found no evidence that Taleyarkhan had engaged in research misconduct.

In research published in 2002 in the journal Science, Taleyarkhan and his former colleagues claimed they had achieved nuclear fusion in experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee by collapsing bubbles in a solvent with powerful ultrasound vibrations.

Taleyarkhan said other scientists have replicated his work and accuses his critics of conflict of interest, jealousy and other motives.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press late Monday night, Taleyarkhan said he was cooperating with the review and would not comment further due to confidentiality concerns.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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