Tennessee teenager’s homemade fusion reactor lands Guinness record

A Tennessee boy is being honored by Guinness World Records for an unusual accomplishment: achieving nuclear fusion just hours before his 13th birthday.

Jackson Oswalt, now 15, of Memphis was dubbed by Guinness as the world’s youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion after officials verified that he built his own nuclear fusion reactor at his family’s home and successfully used it in his final hours of being 12 years old.

“I’ve been able to use electricity to accelerate two atoms of deuterium together so they fuse into an atom of helium-3 and also release a neutron, which can be used to heat up water and turn a steam engine, which in turn produces electricity,” Oswalt said.

Guinness said Oswalt’s reactor and process had to be verified by Fusor.net, The Open Source Fusor Research Consortium, and fusion researcher Richard Hull, who maintains a list of amateur scientists who successfully created their own homemade fusion reactors.