The New Youngest Fusioneer

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Jackson Oswalt
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:10 am
Real name: Jackson Oswalt

The New Youngest Fusioneer

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

For those that haven't seen my fusion claim, I have been accepted into the neutron club. My earliest test that yielded fusion results fell before my 13th birthday, making me the new youngest fusioneer at 12 years old. Richard requested I provide you with a picture, as well as a brief history.
Me next to my reactor. Taken 2/2/18
Me next to my reactor. Taken 2/2/18
I will start from the very beginning. About 1 1/2 years ago all I did was play video games. Every time we went somewhere, all I would think about would be going home so I could play more video games. Well, one day I had a sudden epiphany. I realized that I could be the absolute best at whatever video game, but in the end it still wouldn't mean much. I realized that, in the grand scheme of things, video games had no role to play. So, I changed my ways. Immediately I switched to the closet thing to video games in real life: science. At the time, all I knew was that I wanted to be smart. That was it. I just wanted to be smart. So, instead of watching people play video games, I would watch physics videos. This lead to my discovery of a boy named Taylor Wilson, who had built a reactor at 14 years of age. When I saw it, I just laughed. I thought that it was the easiest way to get onto the news. Boy was I wrong. Eventually, I just couldn't resist the temptation of building a reactor of my own. So, At 11 years old I set out to do it. It started off slow. I would buy one or two parts a month, maybe three. But then, my elementary school (I was a 6th grader at the time) decided to hold a Maker Faire. Even though I didn't even have a chamber at that point, I decided to claim a spot for my demo reactor. Well, fast forward a few months and I still didn't have a chamber. In fact, I had made zero progress. That's when I took the reactor to another level. With my parents permission, I took to eBay. I bought my first chamber: a cf2.75 tee with a low voltage feedthrough that arced like crazy, a viewport, and of course a vacuum port. It took me about a week to achieve my first plasma. In fact, It was April 19th when it happened. The day before the Maker Faire. So I managed to get the reactor there in time to show it to my school. I figured all I had to do from there was add some deuterium. Nope!
From there I increased my chamber size to a 5-way cross instead of a tee. This why I could have ports for the deuterium and a second viewport. Fast forward a 8 1/2 months and I had made virtually zero progress when it comes to vacuum and plasma since my debut at the Maker Faire. Finally, I realized my problem: my 5 conflat flanges had an awful seal. At this point I was days away from becoming 13. I had accepted that I wouldn't achieve my goal. But then, on the 16th I made a quantum leap. My vacuum pressure went from 1600+ microns to 15 after simply replacing my copper gaskets with viton ones. It was at that point I realized that there was still a chance. I could still achieve my goal. Fortunately, even though I had made very small progress with my vacuum and plasma, I had collected every other item I needed. So, I managed to achieve fusion with ice bags taped to my diffusion pump to cool it before January 19th at 3:38pm (my birthday/time). From there I first confirmed my results on a separate thread and then posted my fusion claim, which was confirmed yesterday. That brings us to now. I'm in the 7th grade.

What's next?

I plan to continue to develop my current Fusor, which I have named Fusor S (for small) along side Fusor X (large). Fusor X will be a 6" spherical chamber with 8 ion guns. It will be very similar to the Mod 2 fusor. I also plan to add an ion gun to Fusor S.
Mod 2 Fusor
Mod 2 Fusor
Also, my principal, the lower school principal at my high school, has connected me to the head of the physics department, who has been trying to connect me with a college nearby so that I may show off my reactor to the press. He has also repeatedly told my that my high school will be writing me a recommendation letter good enough to get me a 4-year scholarship to the school of my choice. This justified the price of the reactor for my parents.

In summary, it's been about a year since the last time I've played a video game and it's been the most fantastic, freeing experience ever. I succeeded with my reactor and now look forward to a future in physics that I am very fortunate to have.

Youngest person to build a fusor
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Richard Hull
Posts: 14039
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 9:44 am
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: The New Youngest Fusioneer

Post by Richard Hull »

A fabulous story of your quest and of your parents willingness to help with the costs and the school recognizing that you were a serious student who was willing to "do" and not just dream. This was exactly what I had hoped for here in the image du jour forum. It is great to see someone so young giving up video games for a "self-directed" learning experience.

Keep safe around the high voltages used in the fusor. This is the number one hazard with a fusor. Treat all wiring, once turned on, like a live cobra ready to strike an unwitting victim.

Richard Hull

P.S. I liked the bow tie....Nice touch.
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.
Rueben Fieser
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:49 am
Real name: Rueben Fieser

Re: The New Youngest Fusioneer

Post by Rueben Fieser »

This is amazing! Great work. I hope to see more innovations from you in the future.
John Futter
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:29 pm
Real name: John Futter

Re: The New Youngest Fusioneer

Post by John Futter »

you have not followed this boards rules
in this case rule2
: The Rules: #2
New members are required to introduce themselves in the "Please Introduce Yourself" forum prior to posting elsewhere on the site.

You have not complied.
please do so before posting again
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:55 pm
Real name: Samuel Kothe
Location: Washington State, USA

Re: The New Youngest Fusioneer

Post by SamKothe »

Awesome! I'm a kid like you, and I'm wondering how you got the adults in your life to comply. I'm sure there were some complaints about safety, and I wonder how you got around that. Also, where did you get your deuterium? Your tie is great!
Ad astra explodus!
; )
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