One of the basic ideas in physics is that one can't take credit for discovering something if the experimental procedure that led to the discovery cannot be repeated under controlled conditions, again and
again. Basically, this is considered a fluke.
Many so-called discoveries have actually been shown to be nothing more than accidents, instrument malfunction or just misinterpretation of data and have never been repeated, even in the same circumstances.
Now, a recent discovery is about to be considered a fluke, if not false. A couple of years ago, an Italian experiment called PVLAS showed some amazing results that really gave some excitement to people searching for ultra-light particles, by suggesting axion detection.
In a recent comeback, physicists working on the PVLAS experiment say that the tiny rotation in the polarization of laser light that they reported last year does not support the existence of axions, but is rather an artefact related to how the experiment had been performed.
The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle, theorized in the 70s, but never proven, aiming to resolve the strong-CP problem in quantum chromodynamics. So far, the PVLAS applications are the only experiment claiming to have found reasonable evidence of the existence of the elusive particle and now they are rectifying the claim.
In fact, the team that made the initial announcement was never able to repeat the experiment and furthermore, their results contradicted other experiments on the subject.
So, it seems that the hunt is still on for this mysterious particle, which scientists believe would clean up many of problems of quantum physics.
If the name sounds familiar, you should know that this particle was indeed named after the detergent by Frank Wilczek, co-writer of the first paper to predict, precisely because the problem with quantum chromodynamics had been "cleaned up".