Finch, D., Graham, L., et al
A scientific paper published last month indicating photons travelled backwards in time was retracted Sunday after the lead researcher realized he simply wrote the wrong date in his lab notebook.
“I wrote the date in my notebook as 7/6, which, in the North American convention, is July 6,” said postdoctoral researcher Dr. Miguel Albaladejo. “But when I sent the data to my collaborators in Italy, they interpreted the 7/6 as June 7th.”
While the mixup wouldn’t normally be an issue, the date change indicated that specific photons were detected several days before they even existed. In their excitement over this unprecedented phenomenon, Dr. Albaladejo and his collaborators rushed to publish their findings in any journal that would accept them.
“The only one that got back to us was The American Journal Of Big Fucking Deals,” said Dr. Albaladejo. “Since their slogan is ‘publish here and you’ll get tenure,’ we thought it was our best bet.”
“We were skeptical of their data at first,” said Judith Emory, the journal’s editor, “but then we realized the headline alone would get hella clicks and published it immediately.”
Prof. Eliabetta Cristallo of La Sapienza, Italy, who was not involved in the study, said that the flaw was obvious to everyone in the field that read the paper.
“It was poorly written at best, and it had way too many diagrams on how exactly one could murder one’s own grandparents to prevent one’s own birth,” said Prof. Cristallo.
To avoid future embarrassment, Dr. Albaladejo says that he has switched to writing the full date, including the name of the month, for all future experiments.