Skip to comments.The Boy Who Played With Fusion
Posted on 02/21/2012 9:07:37 AM PST by justlurking
Propulsion, the nine-year-old says as he leads his dad through the gates of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I just want to see the propulsion stuff.
A young woman guides their group toward a full-scale replica of the massive Saturn V rocket that brought America to the moon. As they duck under the exhaust nozzles, Kenneth Wilson glances at his awestruck boy and feels his burden beginning to lighten. For a few minutes, at least, someone else will feed his sons boundless appetite for knowledge.
Then Taylor raises his hand, not with a question but an answer. He knows what makes this thing, the biggest rocket ever launched, go up. And he wantsno, he obviously needsto tell everyone about it, about how speed relates to exhaust velocity and dynamic mass, about payload ratios, about the pros and cons of liquid versus solid fuel. The tour guide takes a step back, yielding the floor to this slender kid with a deep-Arkansas drawl, pouring out a torrent of Ph.D.-level concepts as if there might not be enough seconds in the day to blurt it all out. The other adults take a step back too, perhaps jolted off balance by the incongruities of age and audacity, intelligence and exuberance.
This is before Taylor would transform the familys garage into a mysterious, glow-in-the-dark cache of rocks and metals and liquids with unimaginable powers. Before he would conceive, in a series of unlikely epiphanies, new ways to use neutrons to confront some of the biggest challenges of our time: cancer and nuclear terrorism. Before he would build a reactor that could hurl atoms together in a 500-million-degree plasma corebecoming, at 14, the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion.
(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...
Ping for later.
Finished 2nd. in the Science Fair to a kid who built a diorama about Global Warming
Believe it or not, my some is just like this. Not sure what to do with him. He did much the same thing with the periodic tables last year. Not doing super well in school though. He has a hard time focusing on what is being taught. Time will tell but for now I signed him up for Little league so that he learns some concrete lessons. Not just theoretical.
What an amazing piece.....and an even more amazing kid!
Hopefully he doesn't have a sister named, "Dee Dee."
I just read the whole thing and loved every minute of it!!!
Great read! Thanks!
Someone needs to ask this guy to build a 10Kw home Thorium based generator.
Might not hurt to read up on the physics of baseball so you can show your son how it appears in real life.
Years ago I remember reading about how a pitcher would have a tough time throwing a curveball on mars. I was awed by it.
Oh man...I literally LOL’d on that one...
I caught this and thought folks would enjoy it.
"Funny, that spelling and grammar were my only downfall, and till this day I have problems with both. But science and technology were never a problem. I passed Jr. High and High School through osmosis, never studying, heck, I slept in every class. When home I would conduct science experiments. My GPA in high school was 1.6, and I didn't care. I think its important you take this seriously, especially if you are a parent of a genius, or a teacher, etc etc. Once I got to college I had a 4.0, dropping to a 3.9 because my philosophy teacher didn't like my capitalistic views, and refused to conform to his socialistic/communistic views."
I created nuclear fusion when I was 13. It looked like pudding. I fed some to the little neighbor boy Kirk who always followed me around. He started to glow in the dark. Mom asked me if I knew anything about why Kirk was glowing in the dark. I said, “No, but let’s use him to hunt for nightcrawlers.” Don’t laugh....paid for my particle accelerator with those nightcrawlers. Kirk? He’s a runway light these days.
If the excerpt is anything like the article, then no I won't want to read the rest of it. I have a finite lifespan, and reading drivel uses up time I'll never get back.
Hold for later.
The kid is making yellowcake in his garage.....
One of my reactions to this article is that I certainly hope that the kid has some kind of security detail.
I really hope that the federal government is keeping a close eye on that kid, for his own protection.
There are quite a few nations/organizations that would greatly covet an asset like him.
Seriously, thank God he wasn't born in Iran or North Korea.