Teen becomes youngest person to build a working nuclear fusion reactor

Posted on Saturday, 23rd February 2019 @ 04:42 PM by Text Size A | A | A

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A schoolboy successfully made a nuclear fusion reactor in his family’s spare room aged just 12.

Jackson Oswalt, from Memphis, now 14, is believed to be the youngest person to build a functioning nuclear fusion reactor.  

The machine was built from customised vacuums, pumps and chambers bought on eBay by his parents – costing the family a total of $10,000.

His contraption smashes together atoms with enough force to fuse them into one and this process releases energy trapped inside the atoms.

Information on how to build the machine was found online and on January 19 last year, mere hours before his 13th birthday, nuclear fusion was successful.

The previous record for the youngest successful mastermind behind a nuclear fusion reactor was held by Taylor Wilson, who achieved it aged 14.

He told Fox News: ‘The start of the process was just learning about what other people had done with their fusion reactors.

‘After that, I assembled a list of parts I needed. [I] got those parts off eBay primarily and then often times the parts that I managed to scrounge off of eBay weren’t exactly what I needed.

‘So, I’d have to modify them to be able to do what I needed to do for my project.’

Deuterium gas – an isotope of hydrogen – is heated in a plasma core with 50,000 volts of electricity within a vacuum chamber to force the atoms together.

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