Fusor wins big at local science fair

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Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by teslapark » Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:23 am

Last week I entered some of my fusor work into the preliminary stage of ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair). I went into the engineering category, figuring that a practical comparison of the fusor to the tokamak should make some points. I had really hoped to do well, but the response I got was incredible! For most of the judging period almost all the judges hung around my kiosk asking questions and listening to me (quite enthusiastically) explain the concepts and principles of the fusor. The discussions ranged from very technical to economical, etc. I could barely go anywhere the entire week without being stopped by SOMEBODY who wanted to know more about “the nuclear reactor”. I was even intercepted the night after contest during cleanup by a person who interviewed me for some 15 minutes on camera. I made sure to very clearly mention the URL of the fusor site at that time. I really couldn’t believe how interested everybody was in the project. I displayed the Mark I and Mark II (in progress) fusors on a special booth I made up. A nice video full of plasma stuff and a self-running power point presentation on theory helped with the visual aid. I then covered my three, six-foot tall booth panels with photos and short captions about the fusor; it’s technical advantages over the tokamak, its history, and details of my project. By the way, the kids in the elementary and middle school bracket just loved it.

At the awards ceremony last Thursday night my project received 1st place in its category and I ended up winning more “special awards” than anyone present, which added up to about 300 dollars in cash (more fusor money for play) and some nifty electronic gadgets. I also won the ISEF Finalist “Grand Award”, which is given to the four top entries in the entire fair. This allows me to advance directly to the International competition in Louisville, KY in May, and I also get to compete at the state level for more awards. All in all, it was a very exciting time and was incredibly encouraging for me to continue my research. As I may have mentioned earlier, I am a senior in high school so with any luck science fair will help me a little with college expenses.

One person whom I talked to was very knowledgeable about the fusor. I live about an hour away from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and he is one of the engineers who are currently working on the fusion propulsion program there. It seems one of the devices they are working with is just a simple fusor (a thread earlier in this forum called “Fusion Rocket” links to some details). Anyway, we had a fairly long discussion on IEC and he gave me his contact information. He told me that he could arrange a special tour if I desired. If I can, I will try to post some photos of their work once I see it for myself. This person was also familiar with the work of Bussard and Miley, and seemed VERY interested in the whole notion of an amateur fusion research community.

Anyways, I am inundated with paper work. I will update this thread with any news about how the fusor is received in other fairs, etc, and will hopefully have some “inside” info Marshall’s fusor soon.

Adam Parker

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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by guest » Wed Mar 20, 2002 11:08 am

Hey thats fantastic Adam!, congratulations are in order for that effort!. Do you have any pics you can post?.

regards
Mark Harriss

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Richard Hull
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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Mar 20, 2002 2:45 pm

I would like to throw in my congratulations too, Adam. I enjoyed meeting you at last year's high energy bash here in Richmond, and based on what I have seen on the forum here, you are a real doer and will use this win as a stepping stone.

Who can resist a fusor at a science fair? It is a working device! It is hard for a poster display showing how erosion in the south east has transported high levels of potash into local estuaries to compete against a fusor. That's what we need, more hands on science that forces young hands to fashion and create and minds to expand.

I know you will have a bright future. All the very best.

Richard Hull
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.

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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by guest » Wed Mar 20, 2002 5:40 pm

It just goes to show you there is a reward for good science after all. Congratulations Adam !
Live Long and Prosper dude.

Larry Leins
Physics Teacher

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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by Jon Rosenstiel » Thu Mar 21, 2002 3:28 am

Congratulations Adam, outstanding work!

Over the past months I've had discussions with you a time or two, and I have always imagined you as being an engineer in his 30’s or 40’s. Holy cow, a high school senior! I'm sure your future will be filled with great accomplishment.

Congratulations again,

Jon Rosenstiel

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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Sat Apr 13, 2002 12:58 pm

Nice work, Adam. I just got tuned into it, I've been "AFK" for a couple of weeks.

If you do indeed make it to Louisville next month, let me know, it's not a long drive from Nashville and I'd like to come up and see what you've got. Hope it's not the wknd of the 18th, I already have an obligation that weekend.

Let me know,

--PS
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair -UPDATE

Post by guest » Tue May 14, 2002 1:17 am

Hello, right now I am typing this message on a cyber cafe computer
in the Louisville International Convention Center, which is hosting
this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the
largest pre-college celebration of science in the world. I'm here of
course with my fusor project, which is entered into the engineering
category (which, unfortunately for me, has 145 entries).

This is only the second day of the week-long event, but to my great
surprise the fusor has already gotten some attention. I was
interviewed briefly (and in a upbeat, comical manner) by a local
news anchor in front of the 1200 student finalists at the opening
ceremony. If you happen to read this message tonight and live in
the Louisville area, you should be able to catch a re-broadcast of
the live interview on the Louisville's local NBC channel.

I've been very pleased with the response the fusor has gotten
here. Several physicists have approached me looking for a little
shop-talk, which has been very fun. I'm not going to hold my breath
for any of the grand awards just yet, as there are many very good
projecrs here.

Anyway, I will update when possible, and hopefully post some pics
of interest.

Adam Parker

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Richard Hull
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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair -UPDATE

Post by Richard Hull » Tue May 14, 2002 3:16 pm

GOOD LUCK, ADAM!!!

I am glad that the fusor is garnering a bit of attention.

It is hard not to stop and wonder at a working fusor for it is all that any techno-nerd would ever dream of (right after Brittany Spears, of course). A nice star mode poissor floating in the middle of an inner grid is a crowd pleaser. Adam can back it up with cogent discussion, too.

Again, all the best.

Richard Hull
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.

teslapark
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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair -UPDATE

Post by teslapark » Sat May 18, 2002 9:21 pm

Well, I've just returned home from the International Science Fair, bringing my high school science fair days to a close. It's been quite a ride.

I got 2nd place and $1500 cash. This was a VERY pleasant surprise, because this fair was a tough 'un!

I also won second place last month in a national paper reading competition in San Diego, which got me a $10,000 scholarship! Cash awards from local and state fairs add up to about $600.

Needless to say, doing science fair with the fusor has been a wonderful wonderful experience. This machine is an attention getter, I promise you that. Everybody wants to find out about "the kid who built a nuclear reator in his basement."

Opinions varied, for those who had them (mostly physicists). Response ranged from supportive, to receptive, to doubtful, to caustic. To me though, this was just part of the enjoyment of it all; defending the research to the best of my ability and then watching the experts argue it out in front of me.

I had no idea how big of a deal the whole Intel ISEF fair was, this being my first year to advance to it. The Intel corporation really seems quite happy to spend lots of money on us high school kids, bringing in nobel laureates like Dr. Wiemann (Bose-Einstein Condensate), and the Original Rocket Boys. They also made sure we stayed happy, with all the free entertainment and food we could stand. I've never felt so important in all my life, being interviewed by a reporter for a Japanese news paper, and being recognized on the streets of Louisville as "the nuclear boy". I met a person from the University of Michigan who was sent down by his aerospace department specifically to look at project (they are researching electric drives). I passed out over 75 research abstracts, distributed contact information with over 100 people, and was even offered a summer job at Los Alamos National Laboratory to help on a fusor project that's in the works!

I make the above points specifically to any high schoolers who may be reading this and considering science fair. It is worth doing. I can't promise that you'll always get the credit you deserve, but that's life. Regardless, the Intel ISEF and similar science fair competitions are a great chance for people to really see alot of great science, and find opportunities, and it is a blast too!

The most important contact I made there was Micheal Li, a high school student from the Portland, Oregon area. Hopefully you all will be making his aquaintence online very soon. He was not there as a competitor, but just an observer, I believe that if he did compete, he could have kicked my butt.

Micheal has been working on a fusor for over three years at a local institution. He has been in love with the device ever since his high school teacher gave him a copy of Tom Ligon's now notorious Analog article. This guy runs his system in the "no-glow" regime of 10e -7 torr, using the filament from an ion gauge to help create ions. Early in our conversation I couldn't help but grin when he asked me if I had heard of Richard Hull. It's great to see a community building like this. He did not, however, know about our forum here, and I made sure before I left Louisville that he had both my email and this URL. Hopefully he will be contributing and learning and sharing good times with us soon. I met this person at the very end of the fair during the madhouse of project teardown, almost by chance, and I feel extremely lucky that we've run in to each other. l can't wait to welcome him aboard.

All in all, this past week has to have been the greatest of my entire high school experience. Being a part of Intel ISEF, and getting all the extras and making all the friendships that go with it just makes me very happy to have been a part of it. This sense of fulfillment and satisfaction really culminated at the end of the awards ceremony, when they played a video for us of the weeks events. As I watched, already with nostalgia, the segments on the giant projection screen flash by I saw a closeup of my Mark II chamber, and then a zoom out of me holding the device in my hand for photos. I couldn't help but think that that machine looked pretty darn cool.

I graduate in about two weeks, and I can't wait to get back to work on the fusor full time. In the meanwhile, check the Images De Jour section soon for some photos from the trip.

Adam Parker

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Re: Fusor wins big at local science fair

Post by guest » Sat May 18, 2002 11:03 pm

Doing great Adam.
The Los Alamos Labratory not only supports the fusor but also does cold fusion work. I think you have shook up the engineering world with the fusor work. It has been done on a low key basis as a guilty pleasure
side project in the government. The Princeton folks must be sweating bullets by now. You have pulled off what the Rocket Boys did in 1957.... It wasn't expected
or Just plain impossible to the academic squares. ( I bet you met a boat load of doubting Thomases)

Great going!
All the Best
Larry Leins
Physics Teacher

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