Detroit-area teen builds nuclear fusion reactor

Cyrus Farivar
C. Farivar|11.24.06

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Detroit-area teen builds nuclear fusion reactor

We've heard of plenty of DIY projects, ranging from an MP3 player to a Wacom tablet, but a kid building a small nuclear fusion device in his parents' basement? That's something special. Thiago Olson, a 17-year-old from Oakland Township, outside Detroit, has just completed a 1,000-hour (that's over 40 days worth, but he spread it out over two years) project to build a small-scale nuclear fusion reactor. How does it work? The short of it is that Olson takes a vacuum chamber, fills it with deuterium gas and then jolts it up with 40,000 volts, which creates a very small amount of nuclear fusion. That sounds easy enough -- but now the question is, can young Dr. Strangelove hook up his reactor to the house so he can pay his parents' electrical bill?

[Via MAKE: Blog, photo courtesy Detroit Free Press]

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