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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Kid Creates Nuclear Fusion Reactor in Parents' Basement

   
Author Topic: Kid Creates Nuclear Fusion Reactor in Parents' Basement
Mig
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http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061119/NEWS03/611190639

...but parent's must be disappointed in his 3.75 GPA. If only he's studied more and spent less time time on his new toy, he might have a brighter future.

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Dagonee
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quote:
This year, Thiago was a semifinalist for the Siemens Foundation's National Research Competition.
Semifinalist? What beat him, an antigravity device?
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BlackBlade
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Doing the research, a girl from my high school was also a semi finalist!

http://www.siemens-foundation.org/competition/documents/2006-07SiemensCompetitionSemifinalists.pdf

Dawn Ho

Theres a huge list of semi finalists.

Here are the finalists,
http://www.siemens-foundation.org/competition/2006/Nationals.htm

Seems like ALOT of the finalists were doing medically oriented projects. The finals will be on Dec 1-4.

One of the guidelines for judging is as follows,
quote:

Creativity

Is the project original and imaginative? What is the origin of the studentís interest in the topic? Did the student develop new solutions or procedures? To what extent were the studentís talent and insight incorporated into the project? How did the student address any surprising or unforeseen developments?

Seeing as he is no where near the first amateur to build a device that accomplishes nuclear fusion, I imagine that this category was a big factor. His competition was much greater then what I anticipated.
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fugu13
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Yes, while nuclear fusion is interesting, its still just a matter of following a formula. Original research is much more impressive.
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Launchywiggin
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Compared to the other finalists, Nuclear fusion looks like child's play.
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Nighthawk
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I think every house in Oakland should have a fusion reactor in it. Maybe there wouldn't be as much random gunfire between the gangs if there was the ever present risk of nuking the entire city with a stray round.

I don't even understand the TITLE of the other finalists...

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
I think every house in Oakland should have a fusion reactor in it. Maybe there wouldn't be as much random gunfire between the gangs if there was the ever present risk of nuking the entire city with a stray round.

I don't even understand the TITLE of the other finalists...

Reminds me of the movie Broken Arrow where John Travolta says, "Would you please not discharge your firearms around the thermal nuclear device!?"

Even in 7th grade all I could think was, "Wait What?"

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Yes, while nuclear fusion is interesting, its still just a matter of following a formula. Original research is much more impressive.

What? I haven't looked at this project but no one has created a Nuclear Fusion reactor that hit break even for more than about a micro-second and there are no function Nuclear Fusion reactors in the world.
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Soara
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To think we were so worried about North Korea. [Razz]
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Dann
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Rabbit, there are several functional fusion reactors around the world, two of which are within a 10 minute walk of where I'm currently sitting. Your original objection is correct however, fusion is not a break-even technology at the moment. I haven't read the link yet, but I don't believe for a moment that a fusion device built in this guy's parent's basement will be the first of that kind.
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BlueWizard
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As others have pointed out, several amateur scientists have created Fusion reactors.

In another forum someone speculated that this in a sense was false, just media hype. If this kid had truly create Fusion, he would be securing patents and so forth.

But the trick isn't to create fusion, it is to create large scale practical sustained fusion that creates noticably more energy than it takes. This kid may have fusion but at what cost? Is he putting in $100 worth of energy to get a $20 energy return? I doubt that those are the correct proportions, but they serve to illustate my point.

The goal is to produce large scale, long term, energy efficient sustained Fusion that can be practically applied to the production of energy.

Don't get me wrong, I think his achievement is brilliant, and offer him the greatest encouragement in pursuing his career in science, and maybe at some point, he will produce the practical efficient fusion that we need.

I believe the government would have been far better off spending the billions that went to war toward creating new efficient clean forms of energy, and advancing science in general.

The only reason was care about the Middle East is that they hold our energy supply and therefore the world economy in their hands. If their oil becomes less significant, then they become less significant, and then perhaps they might be willing to stop behaving like spoiled children and start creating a stable functional society.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bboyminn

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Ophelia
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quote:
Originally posted by Mig:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061119/NEWS03/611190639

...but parent's must be disappointed in his 3.75 GPA. If only he's studied more and spent less time time on his new toy, he might have a brighter future.

For what it's worth, the Rochester school system doesn't weigh grades, so if he took honors or AP classes, most colleges will look at it as if it were over 4.0.

I think I would have gone to Stoney Creek High if it had been built when I was in high school. Not sure though.

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Ophelia
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
I think every house in Oakland should have a fusion reactor in it. Maybe there wouldn't be as much random gunfire between the gangs if there was the ever present risk of nuking the entire city with a stray round.

I don't even understand the TITLE of the other finalists...

Oakland County isn't exactly a hotbed of gunfire. It's close to Detroit, sure, but not that close . . .
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
"Originally, he wanted to build a hyperbaric chamber," she said, adding that she promptly said no. But, when he came asking about the nuclear fusion machine, she relented.
Got to love the cool mom.
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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
quote:
"Originally, he wanted to build a hyperbaric chamber," she said, adding that she promptly said no. But, when he came asking about the nuclear fusion machine, she relented.
Got to love the cool mom.
That's brilliant!

"Mom, I'm going to make a hyperbaric chamber."
"What? Are you nuts? You can't do that!"
"Fine then! I'll just build a fusion reactor instead! I HATE YOU!"
"FINE! NOW GO TO YOUR ROOM!"

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fugu13
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Rabbit: it is fairly easy to attain nuclear fusion. You are talking about a different standard, nuclear fusion that reaches break even. As noted in the article, run some electricity through the right kind of gas in a vacuum and you get some nuclear fusion. No mystery about it, nothing especially problematic about it. This person has brought us no closer to achieving break even nuclear fusion. There is no significant original research involved (I would assume he worked on refining the exact criteria this more mundane form of fusion operates under).

And as I've met people here who work closely on science related to the operation of various nuclear reactors, I must also disagree about their existence [Wink] . As other people note, none of them is a feasible power source, though, nor were any of them intended to be. There's at least one building right now that has a good chance of approaching that level, though.

Its a great achievement for a high school student, but neither particularly difficult nor particularly original (on the scale of a contest such as this), mainly requiring money, sufficient knowledge of the theory and practical considerations of building such a device, and time.

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Mr.Funny
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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia:
quote:
Originally posted by Mig:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061119/NEWS03/611190639

...but parent's must be disappointed in his 3.75 GPA. If only he's studied more and spent less time time on his new toy, he might have a brighter future.

For what it's worth, the Rochester school system doesn't weigh grades, so if he took honors or AP classes, most colleges will look at it as if it were over 4.0.

I think I would have gone to Stoney Creek High if it had been built when I was in high school. Not sure though.

Really? So, me with my 4.0 and Honors and AP classes should be extra appealing to colleges, eh?
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DSH
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If you're gonna experiment with nuclear reactions, do it right and do what this kid did.

[Eek!]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ophelia:
quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
I think every house in Oakland should have a fusion reactor in it. Maybe there wouldn't be as much random gunfire between the gangs if there was the ever present risk of nuking the entire city with a stray round.

I don't even understand the TITLE of the other finalists...

Oakland County isn't exactly a hotbed of gunfire. It's close to Detroit, sure, but not that close . . .
I also might add, that Oakland County is like the second or third richest in the country.

It's also where I live.

So where do I sign up for my fusion reactor?

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