World’s Youngest Fusioneer Visits LLE
Eighth-grader Jackson Oswalt, heralded as the youngest person in America to build a working nuclear fusion reactor, gave a seminar talk at LLE. Now 14 years old, the Memphis native completed the project a day before his thirteenth birthday. His reactor, which he built in his home, uses heated deuterium gas to produce a plasma, a process that includes heating the gas with 50,000 V. The reaction takes place in a vacuum chamber, which is created with a powerful turbomolecular pump. “I realized that certain things that I thought were impossible for someone my age aren’t impossible,” he says about the achievement. In addition to his presentation, Oswalt received a tour and attended talks by LLE senior staff during his visit.