Monday, May 20, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

12-year-old builds working nuclear reactor


Posted on Friday, 22 February, 2019 | Comment icon 20 comments

Jackson mainly relied on trial and error to build the reactor. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 James Smith39
Jackson Oswalt achieved the seemingly impossible by building a fusion reactor in his parents' spare room.
Whatever you might have gotten up to when you were 12, it most likely wasn't this.

Keen to avoid wasting too much time playing video games, Jackson, who is from Tennessee, developed a keen interest in building a nuclear reactor using parts acquired from Ebay.

"The start of the process was just learning about what other people had done with their fusion reactors," he said. "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."

With a bit of perseverance and more than a little financial support from his parents, the 12-year-old succeeded in achieving fusion just a few days before his 13th birthday.

He is now thought to be the youngest person in the world to have ever done so.

His dad, Chris Oswalt, admits that he had only a limited understanding of what his son was building.

"Being a parent of someone that was as driven as he was for 12 months was really impressive to see," he said. "I mean it was everyday grinding; everyday learning something different; everyday failing and watching him work through all those things."

Source: Lad Bible | Comments (20)

Tags: Nuclear, Fusion

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by HermeticLabyrinthos on 23 February, 2019, 16:49
Awesome post thank you
Comment icon #12 Posted by bison on 23 February, 2019, 19:10
Quite right! Fusion reactors, like the one this young man built, are based on one designed and built by Philo T. Farnsworth, pioneer television inventor, some years ago. These have even been commercially developed as a neutron source for scientific research and for creating isotopes used in medicine. The problem, as you say, is that they use more energy than they produce. In their present form they could not be used to generate power. Modified designs that use the same method-- called electrostatic inertial confinement-- seem to promise greater efficiency, possibly to the point of net energy p... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by sepulchrave on 24 February, 2019, 6:17
Just to add, the very first image in the Wikipedia entry on the Farnsworth Fusor is a reactor that was also built by a (slightly older) kid. So, Oswalt's work is still impressive, but he isn't the first kid to do it. It is also not so dangerous (as others have pointed out). Possibly lots of opportunities for Oswalt to electrocute himself while building it, but it is impossible to nuke the neighbourhood or release clouds of radioactive, etc.
Comment icon #14 Posted by EnderOTD on 24 February, 2019, 6:23
*wipes sweat from brow*  
Comment icon #15 Posted by Rolci on 24 February, 2019, 13:02
If you thought he was a genius, then what about Ukrainian schoolboy Samuil Kruhliak who invented a way of producing electricity from the atmosphere at $1.40 / MEGAwatt back in 2015? http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/economy/one-kilowatt-003-hryvnias I have been looking for developments on that project for all these years since and thought he was shut down too but now I found the latest: https://www.slavorum.org/young-ukrainian-genius-found-a-way-to-produce-electricity-from-the-wind-and-no-its-not-windmills/ Why isn't that news around here?
Comment icon #16 Posted by lightly on 24 February, 2019, 15:32
Wait...there was a house there ! ?
Comment icon #17 Posted by bison on 25 February, 2019, 23:54
Most of the accounts of Samuil Kruhliak's idea for energy extraction from the atmosphere date from 2015, when he won a science competition, and a full university scholarship in the United States. He proposes to extract electrical energy from the the skies; the same electricity that is responsible for lightning  The only more recent report is supposed to be three months old. It is linked below. It reports that a working laboratory model of his proposed system has been built. It is proposed that a disused factory smoke stack be used to create a full scale version of his device. Any delay in doin... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by and then on 26 February, 2019, 6:58
Yeah, yeah... but can he sing and dance?    Seriously though, I wonder what the practical applications are for his amazing accomplishment?
Comment icon #19 Posted by danydandan on 26 February, 2019, 7:27
It's an RTG so not much danger involved, thankfully. 
Comment icon #20 Posted by aztek on 28 February, 2019, 20:48
because old theories do not get as much attention as built and running device. Samuel's device is basically lord kelvins water drop generator. it is very inefficient, you wont get much power out of it. maybe that is why we do not have it in use. 


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6462724
271731
180245

 
Wandering Earth: can we move our planet ?
5-20-2019
Is it really possible to use giant thrusters to physically move our entire planet to a different orbit ?
Immortality industry 'worth $600bn' by 2025
5-20-2019
The Bank of America has predicted that extending the human lifespan will soon become a major pursuit.
NASA celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 10
5-19-2019
50 years ago, the Apollo 10 crew flew within 9 miles of the Moon's surface a mere two months before Apollo 11.
Human-like figure floats eerily over California
5-19-2019
Peculiar video footage has emerged showing a vaguely humanoid shape floating across the sky over Burbank.
Stories & Experiences
Crashed UFO off Gig Harbor Wa.
5-15-2019 | Gig Harbor Wa.
 
 
My enlightenment
5-12-2019 | Sacramento, California
 
I was bitten by a ghost
5-11-2019 | Virginia
 
Giant bird shadows
4-21-2019 | Hammond Indiana
 
 
Winter solstice hooded figures
3-6-2019 | Decatur, IL
 
My skinless demon
2-8-2019 | Michigan
 
Johannesburg Men in Black
1-2-2019 | Johannesburg South Africa
 
Giant flash of light
1-2-2019 | Pomona, California
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
What happens when lava meets ice ?
Posted 5-18-2019 | 1 comment
This intriguing experiment reveals just what happens when you pour lava on to ice.
 
7 ghost stories from the Queen Mary
Posted 5-10-2019 | 2 comments
A look at some creepy tales of ghosts and hauntings from the retired ocean liner.
 
Could Jack have survived 'Titanic' ?
Posted 5-2-2019 | 2 comments
The MythBusters investigate whether or not both Jack and Rose could have survived the movie.
 
Latin America's most dangerous snake
Posted 3-24-2019 | 1 comment
Coyote Peterson comes face to face with an extremely dangerous reptile.
 
Squaring a doughnut
Posted 3-12-2019 | 1 comment
Michael returns with another mind-bending problem - this time concerning squares.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ