TENNESSEE TEEN JACKSON OSWALT BECOMES YOUNGEST PERSON TO ACHIEVE NUCLEAR FUSION

A teenager in Tennessee is the youngest person ever to achieve nuclear fusion. Jackson Oswalt did it with parts he got online in his family playroom. He was 12 years old. In the three years since, the Guinness Book of World Records has been waiting for confirmation from The Open Source Fusor Research Consortium. Oswalt told USA Today he did it because he didn't want to spend his life doing video games.
“I’ve been able to use electricity to accelerate two atoms of deuterium together so they fuse into an atom of helium-3 and also release a neutron, which can be used to heat up water and turn a steam engine, which in turn produces electricity,” says Jackson Oswalt, of Memphis, Tennessee
“I won’t be doing full-on fusion, but I’ll still be creating a plasma within the chamber here,” Oswalt says, introducing a demo. “I’d say [the] hardest part was trying to figure out how to make the seal airtight on the chamber, so I spent about probably half a year trying to get the seal correct.”
The Popular Mechanics magazine said that these reactors are fun and exciting, but they use far more energy than they replace, compared with the commercial power fusion projects aiming for fusion that outpaces the energy put into them. Nuclear fusion can never be a power source unless it well exceeds the energy required to reach and sustain fusion.
At just 12 years old, Oswalt beat the previous world record by a full two years. He joins a running list of “fusioneers” who have achieved fusion at home. Richard Hull, who keeps the list, is himself part of the club.
Oswalt joins both the overall list and the special high school (or below!) list with his 2018 feat. Listed fusioneers have accomplished goals ranging from winning a school science fair to earning a $75,000 college scholarship, which really shows how you have to choose your fusion audience carefully.
(Source: NPR/Popular Mechanics/Guiness World Records)

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