The Boy Genius Tackling Energy’s Toughest Problem

The Boy Genius Tackling Energy’s Toughest Problem:

In the past year or so an unorthodox think-tank called Helena has been quietly bringing together an eclectic cross-section of brilliant individuals (mostly bright-eyed millennials) with ambitious goals. They’re focusing on the world’s biggest and most insurmountable problems: climate change and global security issues such as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, and nuclear proliferation. The elite and edgy group includes Nobel laureates, Hollywood stars, technology entrepreneurs, human rights activists, Fortune-list executives, a North Korean refugee, and more, but one of Helena’s most unique members is undoubtedly the 23-year old nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson, once known as “the boy who played with fusion”.

Taylor Wilson garnered international attention from the science world in 2008 when he became the youngest person in history to produce nuclear fusion at just 14 years old, building a reactor capable of smashing atoms in a plasma core at over 500 million degrees Fahrenheit—40 times hotter than the core of the sun—in his parents’ garage. And this all happened after he built a bomb at the age of 10. As a child in Texarkana, Arkansas, Taylor became infatuated with nuclear science after trysts with biology, genetics and chemistry. At age 11, while his classmates were playing with Easy-Bake Ovens, Wilson was taking his crack at building a particle accelerator in an effort to makes homemade radioisotopes.

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Taylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor – 13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor – How a garage nuclear reactor is powering students’ futures

Taylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor:

Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.

13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor:

Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer” in history, narrowly beating out the previous record-holder, who pulled it off at 14.

How a garage nuclear reactor is powering students’ futures:

Carl Greninger isn’t afraid of a little nuclear fusion. And thanks to the reactor he’s built in his garage — yes, he has a nuclear reactor in his garage — dozens of the Pacific Northwest’s brightest high school students are finding their place in the exciting world of science and engineering.

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