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131) Jones’s manuscript on history of cold fusion at BYU

Ludwik Kowalski (3/5/04)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

An explanation
On January 6, 2004 I visited Steven Jones at BYU (Brigham Young University) in Utah. Recent investigations of Jones et al. are described in units #113 and #124. The purpose of my visit was to see the instruments described in papers he presented at the 10th International Cold Fusion Conference (August 2004) and to talk about our possible cooperation. During that visit Steven mentioned his unpublished paper devoted to history of cold fusion. I said that I would be very interested in reading it. Then I added that readers of this web site, many of whom are physics teachers, might also be interested in that paper. Such a manuscript, written by a scientist whose work triggered the famous cold fusion controversy, is a historic document that should be available to the scientific community. Steven agreed and today I received that paper. It is a priviledge to post it here.

From a photo of Steven Jones taken during the 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion (October, 2003).


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By BYU Professors Jae Ballif, William Evenson, and Steven Jones

An outline:

I. Scientific Team

II. History

    A. Scientific paper on cold fusion published March 1986 (submitted June 1985) 
       by Jones and Van Siclen
             1. Theory proposed which presaged the Brigham Young University 
             2. "Piezonuclear fusion" used by Steven Jones of Brigham Young 
                 University to describe cold fusion
    B. Brigham Young University Physics Colloquium 12 March 1986		
             1. E. Paul Palmer suggested geophysical applications
    C. Report to DOE (Department of Energy) 13 May 1986
    D. Brigham Young University's experimental program
             1. Planning began in March 1986
             2. Use of Pd, Li, Al, Cu, Ni, Pt, etc. under non-equilibrium conditions, 
                was outlined 7 April 1986.  Jones' lab notebook page was 
                notarized that day.
             3. Geophysical evidence for cold/piezonuclear fusion was sought in 
                the scientific literature as early as April 1986
             4. Electrochemical cell built and measurements taken beginning May 1986
             5. Work on a highly sensitive, energy resolving neutron detector was 
                begun in 1986, since neutrons of the correct energy are a signature 
                for nuclear fusion
             6. Research papers presented on cold/piezonuclear fusion experiments
                 in March and April 1988
             7. Experiments planned, research program set out and pursued vigorously
             8. Publishable results

    E.	Discussions with scientists at other institutions (1986-1988)
III. Scientific Contacts with University of Utah Researchers
     A. Steven Jones reviews proposal by Pons and Fleishmann at Request 
               of DOE 20 September 1988
     B.	Jones offered to cooperate with Pons and Fleishmann
             1. Pons responded with telephone call December 1988
             2. Jones offered use of neutron detector
             3. Pons and Fleishmann visited Brigham Young University 
                laboratory, 23 February 1989
             4. Researchers agreed to work toward simultaneous publication
IV. Contacts Between University Administrators
     A. Telephone discussion between President of University of Utah and 
          Provost of Brigham Young University, 3 March 1989
     B. Meeting between Brigham Young University and University of Utah 
          administrators and principle scientists at Brigham Young  
          University, 6 March 1989
     C. Agreements from 6 March 1989 meeting
            1. Simultaneous publications
            2. Publication prior to APS meeting (May 1989) where Jones 
               was scheduled to speak
            3. Exchange of preprints
            4. No further public comments on results of research until papers 
V. University of Utah Press Conference and Subsequent Events
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I. Scientific Team

A. Brigham Young University Faculty Members - Department of Physics and Astronomy

		Steven E. Jones (PI)
		E. Paul Palmer
		J. Bart Czirr
		Daniel L. Decker
		Gary L. Jensen

B. Brigham Young University Faculty Members - Department of Chemistry

		James M. Thorne

C. Brigham Young University students

		Stuart F. Taylor
		Rod Price
		J. W. Wang
		David Mince
		Eugene Sheeley
		Paul Dahl
		Paul Banks
 		S. Seth Jones
 		David E. Jones

D. University of Arizona Faculty Members - Department of Physics

		Johann Rafelski
II. History

A. Scientific paper published March 1986 (submitted June 1985)

The roots of our work regarding piezonuclear fusion are described in a scientific paper published in the Journal of Physics G: Nuclear physics, 12: 213-221. This paper was received by the journal on 12 June 1985 (over three years before we heard of Pons and Fleischmann, or of Andrei Lipson in Russia, or of their related work) and published in March 1986.

A1. Theory proposed which presages Brigham Young University experiments

The detailed mathematical framework given in the paper was worked out primarily by Dr. Clinton Van Siclen, author on the paper with Dr. Steven E. Jones. The paper discusses fusion at room temperature and how this might be enhanced by increasing the density of hydrogen isotopes. The paper discusses the transition of hydrogen to the metallic state under high pressures and other technical points. One significant concept explored in this paper is that a hypothetical particle "with mass twice that of the electron" could lead to room temperature fusion at a rate of approximately one fusion per minute per kilogram of deuterium. This is close to the actual rates observed in later experiments at Brigham Young University by Jones and colleagues, and the theoretical framework given in this early publication continues to be a possible explanation for the cold/piezonuclear fusion effect. Indeed, this paper is referred to in our later papers on the Brigham Young University experiments since it provides a theoretical, mathematical foundation for cold fusion.

A2."Piezonuclear fusion" used by Steven Jones of Brigham Young University to describe cold fusion

In addition to initiating the 1985 study, Steven Jones (one of the authors) coined the term "piezonuclear fusion" in analogy to the term "thermonuclear fusion," to indicate that the proposed approach is to induce fusion by "squeezing" the hydrogen nuclei together at near room temperatures rather than by heating them to very high temperatures. (The prefix "piezo-" comes from a Greek work meaning to squeeze or compress.) Dr. Paul Palmer used the term "cold fusion" beginning in early 1986.

B. Brigham Young University Physics Colloquium 12 March 1986

E. Paul Palmer suggested geophysical applications

The paper was published in March 1986, and on March 12, 1986 many of the concepts in the paper were described by Dr. Jones at a Colloquium of the BYU Physics Department. BYU Physics Professor Paul Palmer was present and associated these ideas with geological data on heat and helium-3 which are correlated in volcanoes and other thermal regions of the earth. Both heat and helium-3 are released in fusion reactions (proton-deuteron and deuteron-deuteron reactions). Dr. Palmer suggested that rock, lava, or crystals in the earth might help to catalyze the fusion reaction. This creative leap is recorded in Dr. Palmer's logbook, dated March 13, 1986 in some detail (copies available on request to BYU Physics Department).

C. Report to DOE 13 May 1986

Our work on cold piezonuclear fusion was reported to the DOE in the 1985-86 Annual Performance Report, dated 13 May 1986, along with three related documents: the Van Siclen/Jones paper on piezouclear fusion, a note entitled "Experiments in Cold Fusion" dated 28 March 1986 by Paul Palmer; and "Comments on Catalyzed Fusion," a note by Steven Jones dated 1 April 1986. It was at this time that Prof. Jones received permission from the DOE funding agent R Gajewiski to pursue research on this aspect of cold nuclear fusion under an already existing DOE grant to Brigham Young University for muon-catalyzed fusion research.

D. Brigham Young University's experimental program

D1. Planning began in March 1986

As a result of discussions generated by the Physics Department colloquium by Dr. Jones on March 12, 1986, an experimental program was worked out to test these new ideas. An important discussion meeting was held at BYU on April 7, 1986, involving Profs. Czirr, Jones, and Palmer of BYU, and Johann Rafelski of the University of Arizona, along with student researchers. Plans for the research were extensively developed at the meeting. Prof. Rafelski had been very active in theoretical work on piezonuclear fusion since late 1985 and strongly urged the active pursuit of this experimental effort at BYU.

D2. Use of Pd, Li, Al, Cu, Ni, Pt under non-equilibrium conditions, was outlined 7 April 1986 - notarized lab notebook page

Prof. Jones's brief notes from the April 7, 1986, meeting (available on request) record that the metals aluminum, copper, nickel, platinum, palladium (because it "absorbs hydrogen readily"), and lithium were discussed as prime candidates for the process. The importance of non-equilibrium conditions was discussed; in particular, "shocked hydrides" and "electric discharge" were considered. These notes were notarized that day by Lee R. Phillips, a notary and BYU attorney, showing the importance attached to these ideas by the physicists present.

D3. Geophysical evidence for cold fusion was sought in the scientific literature as early as April 1986

On April 13, 1986, Prof. Palmer noted in his logbook a number of fusion reactions to be studied, including the deuteron + lithium reaction. (On March 18, he had noted the high amounts of sodium and lithium in magmas; these later became ingredients in our electrolyte solution, commonly known as "Mother Earth Soup".) On April 16, he records the findings of a paper by the Russian physicists B.A. Mamyrin, L. V. Khabarin, an V. S. Yudenich [Dokl. Adad. Nauk. SSSR, 237: 1054 (1987)] in which they report excess helium-3 found in various metals. This paper was encouraging to us, but we were surprised that no follow-up work was recorded in the literature.

D4. Electrochemical cell built and measurements taken beginning May 1986

On May 22, 1986, our first electrochemical cell for "electrolytic infusion of hydrogen into metals" was built (see Prof. Palmer's logbook) and on May 23, D2O (heavy water) was added. Using a sodium-iodide detector, we looked first for gamma rays from proton-deuteron fusion, and found on May 27 that the foreground rate when the cell operating was slightly higher than the background rate when the cell was not operating, but the result was not statistically significant. In June, we developed another means of loading hydrogen isotopes into metals, using pressurized gases, and added a neutron detector.

D5.. Work on a highly sensitive, energy resolving neutron detector was begun in 1986, since neutrons of the correct energy are a sure indicator of nuclear fusion

Throughout the summer of 1986, work was done on the neutron detector, while different electrolytes were tried, including the addition of NaOH or H2SO4 to D2O and the addition of "impurity salts" of various metals. We also tried loading the cathode with deuterium gas before beginning the electrolysis (see, e.g., 10 September 1986 entry). By September 3, 1986, we saw a foreground minus background rate of about 5x10-3 in the neuron counter, but the result was neither not consistently repeatable. However, this rate proved to be consistent with the rate obtained in later work when the neutron counter system had been dramatically improved. As the Fall 1986 school term began anew, we concluded that in order to make progress in our work we had to first improve the neutron detector. Bart Czirr and Gary Jensen continued this work. Some of the effort went into trying to find suitable hydrogen-rich, inorganic scintillator. While this work continued, Dr. Jones pursued muon-catalyzed fusion research.

D6. Student papers presented on piezonuclear fusion experiments in March and April 1988

In January, 1988, Prof. Jones organized a student research class along with Prof. Palmer and Prof. Larry Rees. Cold or piezonuclear fusion was one of the principal research topics, pursued by students Paul Dahl and Paul Banks. Both wrote term papers on the topic. On 12 March 1988, Paul Dahl presented an oral paper at the Spring Research Conference of the BYU College of Physical Sciences and Mathematics; his paper was entitled "An Experimental Investigation of Piezo-nuclear Fusion." On 25 March 1988, we prepared some deuterided metal samples, which we sent to Harmon Craig of the University of California at San Diego, for helium and tritium analysis. These examples were later sent to Al Nier of the University of Minnesota, but analysis had not been completed as of 30 March 1989 as our paper for Nature neared completion.

D7. Further experiments planned, research program set out and pursued vigorously from August 1988

In August 1988, the decision was taken by the scientific team to vigorously pursue experimental cold fusion research. In particular, Prof. Jones' logbook records that a fusion group meeting took place on 24 August 1988, and that this matter was aired. We decided that both gamma and neutron detectors would be used. Since energy applications for muon-catalyzed fusion appeared remote, we decided to place particular emphasis on our cold/piezonuclear fusion research program. This decision followed work in early August by Prof. Jones in which he outlined a paper on the subject. His intent was to include a discussion of piezonuclear fusion research in his paper, for publication in the proceedings of a muon-catalyzed fusion workshop previously held in Florida in May 1988, as recorded in his logbook entry dated 9 August 1988. (Prof. Jones is an editor of this Proceedings, which is publication no. 181 of the American Institute of Physics.) However, during a visit to Provo on 15-16 August 1988, Prof. Rafelski dissuaded Jones from including this work in his paper but rather encouraged more experimental studies first. Dr. Jones also discussed the BYU work on this fusion process and his intentions to emphasize cold/piezonuclear fusion studies with Dr. Alan Anderson and Dane Chapman in August and early September 1988. Our group has vigorously pursued its experimental cold fusion research at BYU since May 1986.

D8. Publishable results obtained in 1988-1989

In August 1988, we did gamma-ray studies, using the sodium-iodine detector easiest set up. As before, we saw only non-significant hints of gamma production in our 3 inch sodium iodide counter, so we decided to concentrate on using the neutron spectrometer, which was fully conditioned for use in late 1988. Our first studies with this spectrometer were done using titanium, palladium, tantalum, nickel, aluminum, iron, and lanthanum. We also used several methods of loading deuterium into metals, including the original electrochemical method. Thus, we performed anew the experiment which we had started in May 1986, namely electrolytic infusion of deuterium into metals, but with a much-improved neutron detector. Of these experiments, Paul Palmer records: "Steve [Jones] and Bart [Czirr] have set up experiments exactly as we did a year or so ago and looked for fusion-generated neutrons in Bart's liquid-scintillator, low-resolution spectrometer.....As in the previous work, the results were tantalizingly positive." Within a few weeks, the results had reached a statistical significance of over five standard deviations. We also found correlations between tritium detected in Hawaii and volcanic eruptions there, in agreement with expectations that piezonuclear fusion occurs in the earth. We decided in early February to publish our results.

E. Discussions with scientists at other institutions (1986-1988)

Our work in this field has been communicated to a number of scientists outside of BYU in the 1986-1988 period, to name a few : Harmon Craig (University of California, San Diego geophysicist), Al Nier (University of Minnesota), Alan Anderson (Idaho Research Software), Gus Caffrey (Idaho National Engineering Laboratory), James Cohen, Mel Leon, Jim Bradbury, Richard Maltrud, Mike Paciotti (all of Los Alamos National Laboratory), Russell Kulsrud (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory), Archie Harms (McMaster University), and Mike Danos (National Bureau of Standards).

III. Scientific Contacts with University of Utah Researchers

A. Steven Jones reviews proposal by Pons and Fleishmann at request of DOE, 20 September 1988

According to Prof. Jones' logbook, he reviewed a proposal by Profs. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann on 20 September 1988, entitled "The Behavior of Electrochemically Compressed Hydrogen and Deuterium." The proposal was sent to Prof. Jones by Ryszard Gajewski, director of the Division of Advanced Energy Projects of the Department of Energy. Dr. Gajewski had funded Jones' work on cold nuclear fusion (including muon-catalyzed fusion) since 1982, and his specific work on electro-fusion since May 1986. For his part, Dr. Jones has reviewed about eight to ten proposals relating to cold nuclear fusion, his primary field of research. The cover letter with the proposal said nothing about declining to review the proposal if the reviewer was doing related work. Indeed, most of the proposals which Dr. Jones is asked by the DOE to review related closely to his active research on cold nuclear fusion, including muon-catalyzed fusion. The cover letter did specify that the reviewer agrees to "use the information contained in the proposal for evaluation purposes only." This Jones accepted and acknowledges that he has abided by this agreement. The development of the project at BYU outlined above, including the use of electrochemical cells since May 1986, shows that Brigham Young University was conducting research in cold fusion, including the use of electrolytic cells and deuterium-gas loading, long before the review of the University of Utah's proposal at the request of the Department of Energy. We adhered to our on-going program in a straightforward way, despite the unfounded accusations which circulated in the media in 1989 following the press conference of Drs. Pons and Fleischmann.

B. Jones offered to cooperate with Pons and Fleischmann

Prof. Jones recommended that the University of Utah's proposal be approved, despite his unresolved reservations about the theoretical underpinnings. He also suggested to R. Gajewski that he inform Pons and Fleischmann that Jones has been doing related work on cold fusion since 1986 and that perhaps a cooperative effort between the nearby universities (BYU and University of Utah) would be desirable. Jones pointed out that the techniques of the two efforts (e.g. neutron detection at BYU and calorimetric measurements at the University of Utah) were complementary and that the research effort could be benefitted by cooperation.

B1. Pons responded with telephone call December 1988

Dr. Gajewski did inform Pons of the proposed cooperation, who in turn called Jones in (about) December 1988 to discuss the matter.

B2. Jones offered use of neutron detector

In ensuing contacts, Pons requested written information regarding the neutron spectrometer which had been developed at BYU. Jones mailed him this information and offered to allow Pons to use the operating neutron spectrometer at BYU. Pons seemed pleased with the offer.

B3. Pons and Fleishmann visited Brigham Young University laboratory, 23 February 1989

Finally, on 23 February, 1989, Pons and Fleishmann came to BYU to visit Jones and his colleagues in the BYU Underground Laboratory. Pons and Fleishmann were shown the neutron spectrometer and the neutron-energy spectra which it produced, including calibration and actual data distributions. In particular, we openly pointed out the significant fusion neutron signal observed in our data. We also discussed some of our geological evidence for cold fusion (tritium in volcanic gases). In the exchange of information, Fleishmann showed us one of their electrochemical cells, although he indicated that this particular one was one that did not work. We invited them to bring their (working) apparatus to BYU to verify its operation with our neutron spectrometer. They agreed, and the date of 26 February was set for the test.

B4. Researchers agreed to work toward simultaneous publication

Over lunch at BYU that day (23 February 1989), Jones told Pons and Fleishmann that the BYU group was preparing to publish their data and offered to let them publish simultaneously. Dr. Jones reports that when he made the offer to allow the University of Utah researcher to publish simultaneously with the BYU report, he was attempting to establish an open and cooperative relationship. The University of Utah researchers did not come back to the BYU laboratory to test their equipment on 26 February as agreed. Rather, they explained that morning (via telephone) that a graduate student had had to travel to a funeral, and said that they would plan to come at the end of the week. But they did not come then, either. Subsequently, a meeting was proposed by University of Utah President Chase Peterson for 6 March 1989, to be held at BYU with the chief scientists and Presidents of the two universities present.

IV. Contacts Between University Administrators

A. Telephone discussion between President of University of Utah and Provost of Brigham Young University, 3 March 1989

On Friday, March 3rd, the President of the University of Utah called the Provost of Brigham Young University. He made some observations about the significance of cold fusion research going on at both universities, and some of the complexities surrounding the project. He then asked for a meeting with top university administrators and chief scientists involved in the projects as soon as possible. A meeting was scheduled for the following Monday.

B. Meeting between Brigham Young University and University of Utah administrators and principal scientists at Brigham Young University, 6 March 1989

On Monday, 6 March, University of Utah president (Chase Peterson), his vice-president for academic affairs (Joseph Taylor), and the two principle scientists (Drs. Pons and Fleischmann) involved in the cold nuclear fusion experiment at the University of Utah, arrived at 9:00 A.M. to begin the scheduled meeting. Brigham Young University participants in the meeting were the president of the university (Jeffrey R. Holland), the Provost and academic vice-president (Jae R. Ballif), the associate academic vice-president responsible for research (LaMond Tullis), and the principal scientist who directs Brigham Young University's cold fusion experiments (Dr. Jones).

Before the meeting, the president of the University of Utah met separately with the president of BYU and his provost to discuss the agenda. It was agreed that the University of Utah's president could pursue his agenda so long as it included a brief historical summary of the research done at BYU.

President Chase Peterson of the University of Utah first explained how wonderful an invention practical cold nuclear fusion would be. He also said that the large monetary proceeds from said invention could be extremely valuable to the University of Utah. Dr. Jones then held up a small flashlight and stated a strong cautionary note that he would be extremely surprised if enough power could be generated by the process to power even a flashlight in the foreseeable future, and that he could not see in any case how the proceeds from the invention could be vouchsafed for the University of Utah. Jones then reviewed the history of the BYU research on cold fusion (at the request of Academic Vice President Ballif). He described much of the history given above. In particular, Jones showed a notarized page from his own logbook dated (and notarized) 7 April 1986, demonstrating that the metals palladium, platinum, nickel, lithium, copper, and aluminum were particularly enumerated for the BYU research on cold/piezonuclear fusion on that date. He also showed copies of pages from Paul Palmer's notebook that demonstrate unequivocally that experimental research using electrolytic infusion of hydrogen into various metals began at BYU on 26 May 1986, 2 ? years before we learned of the University of Utah work in this area, with the first positive hints of cold nuclear fusion by this process presenting themselves on 27 May 1986. None of these dates were questioned, nor were there any questions about the proposal-review process involving Dr. Jones. They did not allege at that time that the BYU group had pirated any ideas from their research. After Dr. Jones' review of detailed documents showing the BYU research over the years, Utah President Peterson turned to BYU president Holland and commented on the remarkable coincidence that such similar research had sprung up independently at the two universities. This met with general agreement.

Then the meeting shifted to a discussion of releasing the information to the public. The University of Utah researchers stated that they would prefer to have up to eighteen months to quietly pursue their research before announcing it. Dr Jones stated that he had been funded on the research in question since May 1986, that he had positive results, that he felt obliged under DOE grant to publish his results. Furthermore, the DOE funding agent (Dr. Gajewski) had encouraged him to go ahead with a publication on the experimental work to complement his earlier theoretical paper. In particular, Jones displayed his abstract for an Invited Paper to the Spring Meeting of the American Physical Society of 2 February 1989, which states in Part: "We have shown that nuclear fusion between hydrogen isotopes can be induced by binding the nuclei closely together for a sufficiently long time, without the need for high-temperature plasmas.....We have also accumulated considerable evidence for a new form of cold nuclear fusion which occurs when hydrogen isotopes are loaded into various materials, notably crystalline solids (without muons). Implications of these findings on geophysics and fusion research will be considered."

The University of Utah contingent expressed great concern about Jones' speaking at the May meeting in Baltimore. In particular, University of Utah President Peterson suggested strongly that it would be desirable for Jones not to give the talk. Dr. Jones replied that he was shocked that Pres. Peterson would suggest that he give up an invited APS-meeting talk on the BYU work, and Pres. Peterson finally agreed that he would not ask Jones to cancel his talk. Instead, it was agreed that the two groups would submit papers SIMULTANEOUSLY and quickly (in about three or four weeks time) in order to have the papers accepted and hopefully published before Jones' scheduled talk on May 4, 1989. It was also agreed by all that no public disclosure of the research would be made by either group prior to the simultaneous submission of the papers. In keeping with this understanding, Jones said that he would cancel a previously scheduled physics department colloquium at BYU, set for 8 May (two days later), and he did so. Jones also cancelled a talk by a graduate student (Stuart Taylor) on the BYU cold fusion research scheduled at the BYU Spring Research Conference on 11 March 1989, in order to strictly adhere to this agreement.

In subsequent discussions between Jones, Pons, and Fleischmann, it was agreed that the precise day for the joint submission would be on 24 March 1989. On 21 March Dr. Pons called Dr. Jones and the joint submission date of 24 March was re-confirmed. Dr. Pons indicated that the University of Utah paper was ready but assured Jones that it would not be submitted earlier than 24 March. No mention whatsoever was made of the University of Utah press conference held on 23 March 1989, one day prior to the agreed date for releasing the information jointly, or of the University of Utah paper on cold fusion already submitted on 11 March 1989, to the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry by Pons and Fleischmann.

C. Agreements from 6 March 1989 meeting

After an extended discussion of what might be done to accommodate the interests of the University of Utah delegation, it was agreed by all present that:

C1. Simultaneous publication

Scientists at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah would prepare and submit simultaneous publications to the same journal.

C2. Publication prior to APS meeting (May 1989) where Jones was scheduled to speak

Every effort would be made to submit simultaneous publications prior to the American Physical Society Meeting, even though this would be difficult in the short time available. It was agreed that publication in the most prestigious physics journals would be pursued first, but if that could not be accomplished in time, the papers would be submitted to another journal. It was agreed that if necessary journals outside the field of physics would be considered including simultaneous publication in a chemistry journal. Dr. Jones contacted George Miley regarding possible publication of these two paper in Fusion Technology as well as an editor of Nature, for he had previously published papers on muon-catalyzed fusion in these major journals.

C3. Exchange of preprints

The scientists would exchange papers after they were completed.

C4. No further public comments on results of research until papers submitted

No further public announcements of the results of either teams' research would be made until after the papers were submitted for publication. Brigham Young University scientists had a department colloquium scheduled later in the week to discuss their research. Jones volunteered to cancel the presentation and did so following the meeting at BYU on March 6, 1989.

V. University of Utah Press Conference and Subsequent Events

On 22 March 1989, the BYU group had calls from people at the Department of Energy about a press release announcing a 23 March University of Utah press conference. It stated that net energy-producing cold nuclear fusion had been achieved at the University of Utah, and that a reviewer of the proposal had confirmed the result! We were shocked and disappointed by the announcement and communicated these feelings to Chase Peterson and James Brophy at the University of Utah. For example, on 22 March BYU Professor Grant Mason, Dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, spoke to Dr. James Brophy, University of Utah Vice President for Research, and expressed to him that if the press conference were held, we at BYU would interpret this as a violation of the agreements between the two universities. His words were that we would interpret such a press conference "as a stab in the back."

The University of Utah press conference was held (despite our protestations) on 23 March 1989. No mention was made of the cold fusion research at BYU. In fact, a question was asked at the University of Utah press conference: "Is this going on any place else, or is this the kind of process that is currently being developed by anyone else?" to which University of Utah Vice President of Research James Brophy replied: "Let's see, I'll answer it and then perhaps you can . We're not aware of any such experiments going on." It was also stated that the University of Utah paper on their work had already been submitted, although they did not say to which journal. This was also a great shock to us at BYU. After learning of this, we could not see why we should wait until the next day to send our paper to Nature, so, after the press conference at the University of Utah, we sent our paper to Nature. We have received considerable criticism from University of Utah persons for not going to the airport to meet them on 24 March, to send our papers off together. However, it was verified to us on 24 March that Pons and Fleischmann had indeed submitted their paper prior to 23 March; their preprint entitled "Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium" contained this statement on the title page: "Submitted to Journal of Electroananalytical Chemistry March 11, 1989." Thus, the University of Utah paper was submitted prior to 24 March, although we are given to understand that a paper on the subject was also submitted on 24 March to Nature. It is noteworthy that our paper to Nature was published (April 1989, 338:737),, while the P/F paper was not published in Nature after all.

There remains one final area to be recorded in this effort to lay out the facts. Numerous allegations and insinuations have been made to the effect that Dr. Jones pirated the idea of cold fusion in an electrochemical cell or some unspecified ideas from the University of Utah work based on his review of their proposal. For example, such insinuations appeared in a front page article of the Deseret News on 2 April 1989, quoting persons from the University of Utah. Similar accusations were made to officials at the Department of Energy and to scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

On or about 14 February, University of Utah attorney Norm Brown spoke to the BYU attorney Lee Phillips and suggested that Jones had pirated ideas from his review of the University of Utah proposal. This was reported to Jones who reported the allegation to the DOE funding agent Dr. Ryszard Gajwski. Dr. Gajewski then questioned Dr. Pons about this. Dr. Pons apologized for the insinuations of the lawyer both to Dr. Gajewski and directly to Dr. Jones on or about 21 February 1989. We know of no further accusations or insinuations of wrongdoing against Dr. Jones until 10 March 1989, when Dr. James Brophy made allegations of this kind to Prof. John Lamb of BYU. During the week of 14 March 1989, Dr. Pons made general accusations against Jones to Dr. Gajewski, as reported to Jones by Dr. Gajewski.

We have provided evidence from logbooks and other sources that demonstrates that these unsubstantiated allegations are false. When the University of Utah proposal becomes available through the Freedom of Information Act, it will be completely clear, if it is not already, that our work was conducted independently of theirs. (According to agreement with the Department of Energy, BYU retained no copy of the proposal following the evaluation.) Meanwhile, we have opened our logbooks and other documents to public view; copies are available upon request from the BYU Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Jones reported: "A few weeks after the press conference at the University of Utah, I saw Martin Fleischmann in Erice, Italy for the first time since the March 6 meeting. He took me outside the breakfast room and acknowledging that his March 23rd press conference had been "unfair" to us at BYU. He did not suggest that we had driven him to this action. Rather, he told me that administrators at the University of Utah had pressured him to have the press conference. Note that no press conference on "cold fusion" was ever held at BYU. "

We had not agreed to join in a media circus with the University of Utah, which is one of the main reasons we declined to go on March 24 to the SLC airport to send off our paper with the P/F paper (we were told that the press would be there). In addition, at the March 23rd press conference at the University of Utah, it was announced that P/F had recently submitted a paper, before their press conference. So we simply faxed our paper to Nature without fanfare, in such a way that it would have a March 24 submission date. That someone from the U. Utah did go to the airport and indeed waited for BYU to show up - with the press there - shows clearly that they had understood that there was an agreement for parallel submission of papers and that they knew very well of the BYU work. However, they had already submitted their paper on March 11 without informing us. And at the press conference, Dr. Brophy of the University of Utah answered a question about whether any such research was going on elsewhere thus: "let's see, I'll answer it and then perhaps you can. We're not aware of any such experiments going on."

It would be grossly unfair to cast blame on the BYU group these actions by persons from the U. Utah or for the press conference held there, or for the public statement made by Brophy a few days later that the BYU research "confirmed" the P/F work, which statement was terribly misleading.

Jones reported: "During the May 1989 meeting at Sante Fe on Cold Fusion, I approached Dr. Brophy of the University of Utah and expressed my disgust at his allegation (made to BYU Prof. John Lamb, BYU research director, in early 1989) that I had stolen the P/F idea based on my review of their proposal. He told me he no longer believed that."

Addenda - Extracts from early BYU publications on cold fusion.

The following is extracted from a paper submitted in 1985 and published in 1986, on cold/piezonuclear fusion, by Clint Van Siclen and Steven E. Jones:

"It is interesting to consider whether piezonuclear fusion within the liquid metallic hydrogen core of Jupiter can account for the excess heat radiated from the planet. This excess is equal to about one and a half times the energy received from the sun. . . Assuming a metallic hydrogen core of radius 4.6 X 109 cm, 189 fusions per cm3 The following is extracted from a proposal submitted by J. Bart Czirr of Brigham Young University, who performed research on cold fusion with BYU Professors Paul Palmer and Steven E. Jones:

"The present [neutron] detector with improved resolution will find application in several diverse fields, including:

Magnetically confined fusion plasma temperature measurements for d-d and d-t reactions, muon-catalyzed fusion experiments, other cold-fusion experiments, low intensity source measurements requiring good discriminating against background radiation, radioactive source spectrum measurements utilizing (alpha, n) reactions or spontaneous fission, and measurements of the neutron-neutron cross section through the negative-muon/deuteron reaction.

Experiments are currently in progress at Brigham Young University to search for evidence of electron-catalyzed fusion in metals containing deuterium atoms. A neutron spectrometer would provide an important diagnostic tool for the detection of 2.5 MeV neutrons from d-d reactions taking place in these experiments. [emphasis added]

This detector is designed to fill a gap in existing technology for neutron spectrum measurements and permit a broad range of future experiments. The list above only represents a portion of the potential applications. (J.B. Czirr, SBIR Phase II Proposal, May 14, 1986. See also, DOE SBIR grant, number DE-AC02-85-ER80289. )

The following is a published abstract for a talk presented publicly by BYU student Paul Dahl at a conference held at BYU in March 1988. It demonstrates our active research in this research area a year before the Pons/Fleischman press conference, and long before we heard of them or their research:

P.A. Dahl, P.S. Banks, E.V.Sheeley, E.P. Palmer, S.E. Jones,
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University,
Provo, Utah 84602.

Excess helium-3 and tritium gases have been observed in volcanic emissions as well as in some metals. Independently of these results, theorists Rafelski and Muller suggested to us that excited HD ( and by inference D2) molecules might undergo fusion without the need for stellar temperatures to form 3He (and tritium), in analogy to the muon-catalyzed fusion process. We are therefore motivated to study the possibility that fusion may occur at a measurable rate in the earth's crust and in metals wherein the fusion of hydrogen isotopes is facilitated by their dense packing amongst surrounding ions. To test this piezonuclear fusion hypothesis, we will prepare deuterated metal foils, subjecting some to high pressures as found deep in the earth. Then the growth of helium-3 and tritium in the foils will be evaluated."

Finally, from a copy of the original log book kept by BYU Prof. Paul Palmer to demonstrate early work on cold fusion at BYU. In particular, these log book entires show that the first cold fusion experiments at BYU were performed in May 1986.



(This history was originally written April-May 1989 by Professors Jae Ballif, William Evenson, Steven Jones, with revisions in March 2004.)

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