Brigham Young University officials have learned that Nature, a London-based scientific journal, will publish BYU physicist Steven E. Jones' paper on cold nuclear fusion in its April 27 issue.
Conspicuously absent will be a second paper submitted - and then withdrawn - by University of Utah chemistry professor B. Stanley Pons and British colleague Martin Fleischmann.But an unprecedented editorial in this week's issue explains why.
Both the Jones' and Pons' articles were submitted for publication on March 24 and 25 respectively, and, following standard practice, were sent to referees.
Jones, the editorial says, was able to amend his test "in a way that satisfies the referees, but Fleischmann and Pons have taken the view that they could not at the same time satisfy the referees and get on with other urgent work."
U. spokeswoman Pam Fogle said Nature "specifically asked for more data and to flesh out the article by some 1,000 to 2,000 words. Some of the data they were asking for was coming out of experiments that are currently operating. They didn't have the data to supply to the reviewers for the second go-round."
Nature editors said "the non-appearance of the article must not be taken to imply that the experiments described elsewhere by Fleischmann and Pons are inherently less believable than those of Jones.
"It is also important that the appearance of the article from the Brigham Young University group should not be taken to imply that all those who have seen it are persuaded to its chief conclusion," the editorial says.
BYU officials welcomed Nature's announcement.
"We are extremely pleased because that means we can now distribute his material openly without fear of jeopardizing his chances of getting published in scientific journals," said BYU spokesman Paul Richards.
The Pons/Fleischmann scientific paper was published in the April 10 Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry.
Jones - involved in cold nuclear fusion since 1986 - was not aware of Wednesday's news, Richards said. He was lecturing at the University of California at Santa Barbara and had not yet contacted BYU officials.