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Science Fair Winner: 13-Year Old Creates Nuclear Fusion

13-year-old-nuclear-fusion.jpg

Seen here looking dapper as hell, 13-year old Jamie Edwards poses in front of his nuclear fusion set-up that was successfully able to collide two hydrogen atoms into a helium atom without leveling the school. This makes Jamie the younger nuclear fushion-er on the planet, and arguably TOO YOUNG to be toying around with nuclear fusion, at least according to one blogger who understands very little about anything.

Jamie, who attends Penwortham Priory Academy near Preston, has been fascinated with radiation for years, on one occasion even buying a Geiger counter with his Christmas money.


His fusion ambition was sparked by reading about a 14-year-old US schoolboy, Taylor Wilson, who had become the youngest to produce a small fusion reactor in Nevada in 2008.

'I looked at it, thought "That looks cool" and decided to have a go,' Jamie added.

For his next project, Jamie - who wants to be a nuclear engineer or work in theoretical physics - has his sights set on building a miniature hadron collider.

Wow, so 13-year olds are building nuclear fusion reactors these days? Because my goals when I was thirteen were a lot more modest, and far less scientific. 1) Don't poop your pants at school. 2) Learn how to change your underwear in the locker room without anybody seeing your penis 3) Kiss a girl 4) Kiss a DIFFERENT girl. 5) Verify if vaginas really run front to back or side to side or if it's genetic. Whoa -- I guess I was into science after all!

Keep going for a simple graphic explaining Jamie's process.

how-to-nuclear-fusion.jpg

Thanks to Ross the Boss and Alexandra, who nuclear fusioned before the age of ten but don't like to brag about it because they're busy trying to discover the Higgs Boson before their twelfth birthdays.

There are Comments.
  • Bill Johnson

    So how one till the boy gets a job offer in Iran?

  • Fusion Guy

    I have done a fair amount of work with fusion reactors so I figured I might clear some things up here. The Reactor he has created is an Inertial Electrostatic type, which takes a high voltage charge and applies it across two "Cages", one inside of another. This creates a sorta... Spherical particle accelerator, and at the center of the interior cage, the unstable deuterium SMASHES into another deuterium (Or a free neutron) releasing a neutron or forming helium.

    As fascinating as this all sounds, this technology has been around since the 60's, origionally developed by Philo T. Farnsworth (Hence the common name, Farnsworth Fusor). The efficacy of this type of fusor is... minimal. The most efficient fusor I know of (Northwest Nuclear Consortium) outputs about 1uW (Micro Watt) for every 100W they put into it, and that is STELLAR compared with the one I built (I got to about 100 neutrons/second as my best before my mother shut me down. No problems with the actual fusor, we just live in a nuclear free zone and it was not worth the felony).

    Although this is a fascinating thing to have accomplished at that age, these are not exceptionally complicated systems to construct (you can make one out of two salad bowls http://fusion.wsyntax.com/setu.... I suspect he will have a bight future, but the research I have turned up shows very little in his actual understanding of fusion (Or at least explaining), which is really the only application for this kind of reactor.

  • Marc-André Jutras

    So... There's just a very very tiny amount of H -> He taking place? Because I keep hearing turning hydrogen into helium is supposed to release massive amount of thermal energy. At that rate, how long would it take to turn 1L (at room temperature/pressure) or H into He?? Months? Years?

    Stupid question... But how do we know it's H -> He and not Deuterium -> H2 with the extra neutron being dumped out?

  • Fusion Guy

    Also, the diagram they show is HOPELESSLY incomplete.

  • If he had levelled Preston I'm not sure anyone would have noticed.

  • DeksamTorrac

    His mom did most of the work.

  • Guest

    There's something fishy about this....

    But I like it.

  • fdafda

    and then the government tries to headbag him just as the experiment goes horribly right, explodes and somehow coveres his body in "bio metal" making the first prepubescent supervillain?

  • Littletroubleshooter

    In my day we just used some baking soda and vinegar to get a stern nod from our principal.

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  • Guest

    Neutron? How about the fuck-ton of thermal energy fusion is supposed to produce? Somehow, I have the feeling something is erroneous here.

    So many wrong thing in the diagram... Electricity to vacuum? No anode/cathode?

  • Arkoprabho

    Similar thoughts popped into my head too.... Fusion of even a single atom is supposed to create a large energy... Almost 6Mev=9.6x10^(-13)J...
    Charging vacuum??? It needs poles!!! If he were even to charge the deuterium atoms then fusion wont be possible under normal conditions... You would need huge velocity to overcome the electrostatic force...
    I will dig deeper than this.. Need to find out what it actually is...

  • Hickory Dickory Bullshit

    Not to mention in the article he mentions measuring the neutron with a geiger counter.

  • Bing Chandler

    I think the problem is the article is a condensed version of one that appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper. Their normal science stories are the latest health 'scare' based on a complete misunderstanding of the facts.
    As I understand it from the radio report they had a neutron detector as well as a geiger counter, the difference between the two would be lost on the Daily Mail's target audience.

  • Hickory Dickory Bullshit

    Bollocks. Anyone who knows the slightest thing about physics will tell you this is bollocks.

    This is the same as saying "I've thrown a ball at a wall, and it bounced off. Thus, I can conclude the wall is made of titanium."

    Utter shit.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    Many people have made "home made" fusion before, it requires a lot of study but is no way impossible to amateurs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

    What scientists have been strugling for years is to make a machine capable of extract more energy from the fusion than it uses in a controled way.

  • Nash314

    So what your all saying is? You know nothing about fusion outside of a Nova special?

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