A 12-year-old boy has managed to build a working fusion reactor and have it recorded by the Guinness Book of Records, making him the youngest on record to achieve this feat.
While most 12-year-olds play video games and enjoy the lack of responsibility that comes with youth, Jackson Oswalt had been fusing atoms. The young man, who has just turned 13, has taken the time to explain his motivation behind the endeavour and it is admirable to see how much work the child has done.
Jackson, from Memphis, Tennessee, began building his own DIY fusion reactor after being inspired by the previous Guinness World Record holder Taylor Wilson, who had managed to construct one by the age of 14. The teenager claims to have built the entire reactor himself, and offered insight into how to achieve the fusion of atoms.
Oswalt explained that he had been working on the project for around two years, and encountered issues with seals that gave him setbacks:
The project was very hard. I’d say the hardest part was figuring out how to make the seal airtight on the chamber, so I spent about…probably about half a year trying to get the seal correct.
Nevertheless, he persevered and his parents appear to have encouraged this activity – which is still being attempted by some countries.
Jackson’s mother claims that while she was excited by her son’s interest, ‘I would definitely be googling things before he turned on various stages.’ This internet activity seems understandable given that atoms are being collided in her house. She went on to explain that part of her support was because her son explained what he was doing so well.
The fact that a 12-year-old could even understand nuclear fusion is incredible, never mind putting together the components to actually perform the act. This will undoubtedly be a huge achievement for Jackson, and it will be fascinating to see what he does next.