Jackson Oswalt from Memphis was given a separate room, internet and about $10,000 worth of material from his parents. With this, he started working as a twelve-year-old.
A few hours before he turned thirteen, he succeeded in his nuclear fusion on January 19, 2018. He is perhaps the youngest in the world who did that, very impressive.
Jackson Oswalt, now 14, did not have as much interest in social media or computer games as most of his peer but was fascinated by everything that had to do with nuclear power. He did research on the internet and learned what he needed for his experiment. His parents sponsored him for 10,000 dollars (8,800 euros).
“In nuclear chemistry, nuclear fusion is a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei are combined to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles. The difference in mass between the reactants and products is manifested as either the release or absorption of energy”
Jackson learned in the process and also contributed a lot to an online forum for amateur physicists. He had to adjust his purchased parts on eBay himself. In his playroom, which he transformed into a lab, he built a steel machine with pistons, pumps, and chambers, with which he could throw atoms with force and through high temperatures to release bursts of energy.
A nuclear fusion reactor
Jackson Oswalt is recognized as the youngest American ever to successfully carry out nuclear fusion. He wanted to take the record from Taylor Wilson from Arkansas, who delivered the same performance in 2008 at the age of 14. And so Jackson succeeded.
The whole process is similar to how the sun and other stars get energy. On a larger scale, scientists are also striving to make a nuclear fusion reactor that, like the sun, can release more energy than it receives to supply homes and buildings with electricity. “We are still very far from that”, says Dr. Jingbiao Cui, a professor at the University of Memphis. Jackson’s nuclear fusion reactor does indeed need more energy than it generates.