When he's not running track and cross country at Stoney
Creek High School, 17-year-old Thiago Olsen can be found tinkering with items
such as high-voltage X-ray transformers, diffusion pumps, and neutron bubble
dosimeters. Most of the devices were scrounged from eBay or built from scraps
and pieces picked up at the local hardware store.
This teen's dream of fusing two hydrogen atoms by crashing them together to
form a single helium nucleus has finally paid off. The proof lies in the images
he has published showing a classic "star in a jar" pattern,
indicating the presence of neutron bubbles suspended in plasma, the traditional
by-product of nuclear fusion.
It's “kind of like the holy grail of physics,” Olsen told
reporters from the Detroit
Free Press. His accomplishment was recorded by the Web site Fusor.net,
where he has been officially declared the 18th member of the Neutron Club, an
elite group of private individuals worldwide to have successfully
"operated a neutron-producing fusor or fusion system" of their own
Some parents might be nervous about the safety of a
home-made device designed to create plasma at a temperature of around 200
million degrees -- several times hotter than the core of the sun. Earlier this
month, Michigan Department of Health officials inspected the apparatus.
"They were impressed, and it checked out," Olsen said.
The high school senior's goal of competing at the May 2007
International Science Fair in Albuquerque still has a flicker of a chance.
Olsen was a finalist at the 50th Science & Engineering Fair of Metropolitan
Detroit last week, but his entry "Neutron Activation Using an Inertial
Electrostatic Confinement Fusion Reactor," will need to take top honors at
the Michigan Science Fair in Flint on March 31 to keep his hopes alive.
quote: The Sun has a spectral class of G2V. "G2" means that it has a surface temperature of approximately 5,500 K, giving it a white color
quote: What exactly color the Sun appears to be is a function of it's temperature.
quote: "plasma at a temperature of around 200 million degrees -- several times hotter than the core of the sun"Is this correct? Something seems wrong to me since the sun is a fusion reactor with hydrogen being constantly fused to helium... maybe you meant the surface of the sun? Please correct me if I'm wrong...
quote: Earlier this month, Michigan Department of Health officials inspected the apparatus. "They were impressed, and it checked out," Olsen said.
quote: God did the same thing like 10 billion years ago, only way better. And this guy gets an award?
quote: Let me guess, you ended up being the 19th member of the Neutron Club?
quote: Totally uncalled for comment