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Infinite monkey theorem ? proved?

MonkeyTyping.gifWe have seen evidence to support the infinite monkey theorem (which says that “a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a particular chosen text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare“).

An anonymous investigator today sent us this note:

I bring to your attention the existence of two identical documents written, I am told, by completely different authors. These happen to be scientific studies in prestigious journals. The second one has just been published. It is:

Determination of dopant of ceria system by density functional theory“, K. Muthukkumaran, Roshan Bokalawela, Tom Mathews and S. Selladurai Journal of Materials Science, Vol 42, Number 17, Sep 2007, pp 7461-7466.

It is identical to a paper, credited to other authors, published more than a year earlier in a different journal:

Optimization of ionic conductivity in doped ceria,” David A. Andersson, Sergei I. Simak, Natalia V. Skorodumova, Igor A. Abrikosov, and B?rje Johansson, PNAS | March 7, 2006 | vol. 103 | no. 10 | 3518-3521.

MonkeyTyping-another.jpgWhen I say “identical”, I mean every word, every figure and every concept, procedure, result and conclusion.

Two of the new authors (Roshan Bokalawela at the University of Oklahoma and Tom Mathews at IGCAR Kalpakkam) have dissociated themselves from the paper, which leaves K. Muthukkumaran and S. Selladurai, both from Anna University.

The event has been reported in the Linkoping University News and in Dagens Nyheter (both on September 5, 2007).

Improbable Research