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 possibly 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 benefited 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 Fleischmann 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, Fleischmann 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 this fusion 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 March (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 on this topic (of these two papers) in Fusion Technology as well as contacting 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."