While governments are spending billions to build football – sized nuclear fusion reactors — the elusive process of harnessing energy from fusing atoms, rather than breaking them apart — a 12 year old kid from Memphis, Tennessee, just became the youngest person to have ever achieved nuclear fusion, […]
Jackson Oswalt achieved nuclear fusion by fusing two deuterium atoms together in a thermonuclear reactor he built in the playroom of his family’s house.
According to Jackson, he was the sole one that worked on the reactor during both the planning and production stages.
“The temperature in my fusor varies, but it’s approximately 100 million degrees [Kelvin],” Jackson said in the Guinness World Records video accompanying the announcement.
“I have been able to use electricity to accelerate two atoms of deuterium together in order that they fuse together into an atom of helium 3 [isotope], which also releases a neutron which can be used to heat up water and turn a steam engine, which in turn produces electricity,” he explained in the video.
Jackson was inspired by Taylor Wilson, who was the previous record holder at the age of 14.
Building a DIY thermonuclear reactor — albeit not one which will generate more power than you set into it, a grail among energy researchers — may be a challenging but achievable task with a thriving online community around it.
“There were a few moments during the project that I had some reservations,” Jackson’s mother admitted. “I would definitely be googling things before he turned on various stages.”
She also added that “he did a great job of explaining it to us.”
Click here to check out the original story at Futurism