British Schoolboy Youngest 'Fusioneer' Ever

Here’s a short video from the BBC which features the achievement of a 13 year-old British schoolboy, Jamie Edwards, who became the youngest person ever to build a nuclear fusion reactor. He was awarded a grant of $3,350 from his school, Penwortham Priory Academy, in Preston, England to build his reactor.

His blog which chronicles his work on the reactor and shows pictures of the project in various stages of assembly can be read here.

More information can be found in the article below from the Atlantic.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/03/this-13-year-old-just-became-the-youngest-person-ever-to-build-a-nuclear-fusion-reactor/284252/

  • bachcole

    It is obvious that this boy did NOT get over-unity. The article did not even address that issue, which I find astonishing. Perhaps the public and the media are SO used to hot-fusionists bragging about something that is really complicated and metallic and impressive but doesn’t actually produce any excess heat that it is perfectly OK with them to call this sweet boy a “fusioneer”. Perhaps some of you UK commenters here should contact this boy and tell him, “Psst. There is something called ‘cold fusion’ and it sometimes has impressive amounts of excess heat and you can work on it in your basement. If you tell your parents that I said this to you I will deny it.”

    • Farnsworth Fusors do apparently produce neutrons and x-rays, the signature of ‘hot’ fusion taking place. Perhaps this kid will be the one who finally gets an energy return as well. At least these gadgets don’t demand multiple-billion dollar entrance tickets, so the basement inventors can have a go.

    • Gordon Docherty

      OK, it’s not LENR / CMNS as such and definitely not over-unity: he used, instead, inertial electrostatic confinement – a net consumer of energy.

      Still, as wikipedia points out:

      Inertial electrostatic confinement is a branch of fusion research which uses an electric field to hold in a plasma. Electric fields can do work on charged particles (either ions or electrons), heating them to fusion conditions. This is typically done in a sphere, with material moving radially inward, but can also be done in a cylindrical geometry. The electric field can be generated using a wire grid or a non-neutral plasma cloud

      So, there is one part of the LENR / CMNS equation right there – move down to the crystal lattice level to “encourage” ions to head inward… It’s only one effect among many that LENR systems use, but is not at all inconsistent with LENR / CMNS experimentation.

      Nice to see a 13 year old schoolboy going where many “important physicists” fear to tread, however. Perhaps one of the psych-evaluation tests should look into kainotophobia (fear of change) or optophobia (fear of opening one’s eyes – at least, in a metaphorical sense) or bathophobia (fear of falling from a high place!).

      As someone pointed out recently, what scientists do is Re-Search – that is search / fail, search again / fail, search again / fail …until they search and succeed. In such an ethos, the focus on failure should be “what can we do differently”, or “what’s the same and what’s different”. It should not be one of “if at first you don’t succeed, just give up” or, worse yet, “if at first you don’t succeed, pronounce it as impossible and try to stop others Re-Searching instead” in case they should have some success.

  • Fortyniner

    At the opposite end of the age scale for ‘fusioneers’ – Doug Coulter, another basement fusion device builder (newspaper report – again v. thin on technical detail):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573942/Everybody-needs-hobby-Eccentric-DIY-engineer-used-work-intelligence-agencies-builds-NUCLEAR-FUSION-REACTOR-basement.html

  • At the opposite end of the age scale for ‘fusioneers’ – Doug Coulter, another basement fusion device builder (British newspaper report – again v. thin on technical detail):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573942/Everybody-needs-hobby-Eccentric-DIY-engineer-used-work-intelligence-agencies-builds-NUCLEAR-FUSION-REACTOR-basement.html

    This appears to be another Farnsworth Fusor. Also his personal pages: http://www.coultersmithing.com/ with links to an egineering forum revolving around fusor builds.

    It’s good to see someone who makes me look relatively well dressed by comparison – there aren’t many of ’em out there.

  • Fortyniner

    Farnsworth Fusors do apparently produce neutrons and x-rays, the signature of ‘hot’ fusion taking place. Perhaps this kid will be the one who finally gets an energy return as well. At least these gadgets don’t need multiple-billion dollar entrance tickets, so the basement inventors can have a go.

  • Gordon Docherty

    OK, it’s not LENR / CMNS as such and definitely not over-unity: he used, instead, inertial electrostatic confinement – a net consumer of energy.

    Still, as wikipedia points out:

    Inertial electrostatic confinement is a branch of fusion research which uses an electric field to hold in a plasma. Electric fields can do work on charged particles (either ions or electrons), heating them to fusion conditions. This is typically done in a sphere, with material moving radially inward, but can also be done in a cylindrical geometry. The electric field can be generated using a wire grid or a non-neutral plasma cloud

    So, there is one part of the LENR / CMNS equation right there – move down to the crystal lattice level to “encourage” ions to head inward… It’s only one effect among many that LENR systems use, but is not at all inconsistent with LENR / CMNS experimentation.

    Nice to see a 13 year old schoolboy going where many “important physicists” fear to tread, however. Perhaps one of the psych-evaluation tests should look into kainotophobia (fear of change) or optophobia (fear of opening one’s eyes – at least, in a metaphorical sense) or bathophobia (fear of falling from a high place!).

    As someone pointed out recently, what scientists do is Re-Search – that is search / fail, search again / fail, search again / fail …until they search and succeed. In such an ethos, the focus on failure should be “what can we do differently”, or “what’s the same and what’s different”. It should not be one of “if at first you don’t succeed, just give up” or, worse yet, “if at first you don’t succeed, pronounce it as impossible and try to stop others Re-Searching instead” in case they should have some success.

  • Barry8

    Leave it to the Brits. I’d like to visit that country as soon as I can learn the language.

    • Gerard McEk

      You need a posh attitude for that.

      • Bob Greenyer

        easy

  • Leave it to the Brits. I’d like to visit that country as soon as I can learn the language.

    • Gerard McEk

      You need a posh attitude for that.

      • Bob Greenyer

        easy

  • Asterix

    What’s been missed by all commenters is that there are plenty of young school-age people pursuing the “neutron badge”. For information on homegrown fusors, see the discussions on fusor.net forums (this includes young Cameron Key’s project).

    On the other hand, I know of no forum for young people seeking to reproduce LENR effects. Given the comparative simplicity of the LENR processes that have been described, it’s rather surprising. Assembling the apparatus for a Farnsworth-type fusor is a formidable task and the result produces neutron radiation.

  • Asterix

    What’s been missed by all commenters is that there are plenty of young school-age people pursuing the “neutron badge”. For information on homegrown fusors, see the discussions on fusor.net forums (this includes young Cameron Key’s project).

    On the other hand, I know of no forum for young people seeking to reproduce LENR effects. Given the comparative simplicity of the LENR processes that have been described, it’s rather surprising. Assembling the apparatus for a Farnsworth-type fusor is a formidable task and the result produces neutron radiation.

  • Asterix

    On a follow-up post, Jamie’s not getting his neutron badge yet. It seems that there’s doubt about the consistency of his data with the operating conditions.

    http://www.fusor.net/board/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9196#p62451

    But the folks in the forum are prepared to help out interpreting the data.

    This points up to the issue of verification of any scientific experiment. It’s not enough that an observation and a pronouncement made on the part of a single person and single experiment. This, as you’ll recall, is what sullied the experimental evidence of Fleischman and Pons. Try as they might, people with much greater resources could not replicate the reported experiment.

    • Brokeeper

      Would we have E-Cat powered homes today if Fleischman and Pons were in middle school at the time of their discovery?

  • Gerard McEk

    Perhaps this kid is the key to LENR publicity on mainstream media, so praise him in twitters, re-twitter, on your Facebook- and on your Linkedin pages!

  • Gerard McEk

    Perhaps this kid is the key to LENR publicity on mainstream media, so praise him in twitters, re-twitter, on your Facebook- and on your Linkedin pages!

  • Gerard McEk

    Perhaps this kid is the key to LENR publicity on mainstream media, so praise him in twitters, re-twitter, on your Facebook- and on your Linkedin pages!

  • Sanjeev

    BBC somehow forgot to cover the achievements of kids from Pirelli high school of Italy. 😉
    Their Athanor is now producing electricity directly from fusion. Of course the claims are not verified yet, but that doesn’t stop BBC from reporting, as we know. They also reported one micro joule of gain in ITER while it consumed few mega joules, as a major success.
    Check the cool photo : http://www.hydrobetatron.org

    • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

      No mainstream will cover LENR until Big Oil has its hands on it firmly.

  • Sanjeev

    BBC somehow forgot to cover the achievements of kids from Pirelli high school of Italy. 😉
    Their Athanor is now producing electricity directly from fusion. Of course the claims are not verified yet, but that doesn’t stop BBC from reporting, as we know. They also reported one micro joule of gain in ITER while it consumed few mega joules, as a major success.
    Check the cool photo : http://www.hydrobetatron.org

    • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

      No mainstream will cover LENR until Big Oil has its hands on it firmly.

  • BroKeeper

    Would we have E-Cat powered homes today if Fleischman and Pons were in middle school at the time of their discovery?

  • Chris I

    This is not very convincing at all.

    • Fortyniner

      Not that subtle I’m afraid. Which part of the report are you questioning?

      • Chris I

        Which report?

    • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

      Sometimes British humour derives from a very human form of igno-arrogance….

      • Chris I

        Show me where you think the igno-arrogance of this case lies.

        • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

          You probably are right, maybe it’s me seeing or not seeing what the article could have said, and in what tone.
          The article seems to downplay this achievement and gives no information on LENR more in general, nor does it expand on what LENR is and could mean, nor does it begin to be investigative in any way. The article focuses, perhaps with some fun-poking lightness, on the achievement of a ‘child’ in his, remarkable, school research project, leaving the reader bare of any other information.
          As it is written, the piece barely stirs a yawn, apart from the only lively part where the headmaster is guaranteed that the school wouldn’t be blown up by the child’s project.
          Igno-arrogance is not a prerogative of one nationality, however, otherwise we would have been reading many more interesting mainstream articles on LENR these past 20 years.
          Status quo ante must be protected. That’s why they’re playing obtuse war games when we should all be thinking of how to save our environment and our health instead.

  • Chris, Italy

    This is not very convincing at all.

    Mind though, the sublety of British humour can be great at times…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2573998/I-star-jar-13-year-old-youngest-person-world-build-NUCLEAR-FUSION-REACTOR.html

    • Not that subtle I’m afraid. Which part of the report are you questioning?

      • Chris, Italy

        Which report?

    • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

      Sometimes British humour derives from a very human form of igno-arrogance….

      • Chris, Italy

        Show me where you think the igno-arrogance of this case lies.

        • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

          You probably are right, maybe it’s me seeing or not seeing what the article could have said, and in what tone.
          The article seems to downplay this achievement and gives no information on LENR more in general, nor does it expand on what LENR is and could mean, nor does it begin to be investigative in any way. The article focuses, perhaps with some fun-poking lightness, on the achievement of a ‘child’ in his, remarkable, school research project, leaving the reader bare of any other information.
          As it is written, the piece barely stirs a yawn, apart from the only lively part where the headmaster is guaranteed that the school wouldn’t be blown up by the child’s project.
          Igno-arrogance is not a prerogative of one nationality, however, otherwise we would have been reading many more interesting mainstream articles on LENR these past 20 years.
          Status quo ante must be protected. That’s why they’re playing obtuse war games when we should all be thinking of how to save our environment and our health instead.

  • GreenWin

    Great. Now, give him a grant to go study with Prof Abundo in Italy where his enthusiasm might result in a non-radiative application.

  • GreenWin

    Great. Now, give him a grant to go study with Prof Abundo in Italy where his enthusiasm might result in a non-radiative application.