Michigan teen builds his own nuclear fusion chamber in his basement.

Usually when parents say their teen is “going nuclear” they don’t mean it literally, but when you’re speaking of Thiago Olson of Oakland Township the literal sense of the words seems very apt indeed:

In the basement of his parents’ Oakland Township home, tucked away in an area most aren’t privy to see, Thiago is exhausting his love of physics on a project that has taken him more than two years and 1,000 hours to research and build—a large, intricate machine that , on a small scale, creates nuclear fusion.

Nuclear fusion—when atoms are combined to create energy—is “kind of like the holy grail of physics,” he said.

In fact, on www.fusor.net, the Stoney Creek senior is ranked as the 18th amateur in the world to create nuclear fusion.

That’s going to be a hard one to top at the next School Science Fair.

14 thoughts on “Michigan teen builds his own nuclear fusion chamber in his basement.

  1. Its funny really. I’ve preached to my peers for a number of years that with a hefty amount of determination, no task is impossible. More to the point, I’ve stood on my soapbox and ranted until I was blue in the face about how men and women underestimate themselves to the point where they really believe they are only capable of the average. Personally, I always had a taste for chemistry. More specifically, chemical explosives. Had it not been for the simple fact that their manufacture at home is illegal, there are a number of wonderful home recipes I’ve been waiting to try.

  2. In middle school my friends and I used to make various explosive concoctions out of pie tins, cans, shotgun shells and various household goods to varying degrees of success. The most tragic victim of these experiments was the golf course behind my friend’s house, which had plenty of open space to set things light in while still observing them. That was several decades ago, but I have no doubts that my friends and I would be arrested and charge with some sort of terror-offense these days thanks to Republican bed-wetting over their hyped-up fears.

  3. Cool.  LOL

    how men and women underestimate themselves to the point where they really believe they are only capable of the average

    Yeah. You don’t have to be too much better to be better than average.
    I tried to instil that into all my employees in my former life. Going the extra mile and all that.
    Ian Thorpe’s gold medal swim in the 400m was better than the silver medallist by 0.003 of a second.

  4. Ian Thorpe’s gold medal swim in the 400m was better than the silver medallist by 0.003 of a second.

    Mmmh. What do you mean with that, LJ19? That unlike in the world of pro sports, it is much easier to be above-average for the normal person? Am I getting your gist or getting it totally wrong?

    These two old Bloom County cartoons may explain what is going on:

    Oh DOF, how topical! And Kim having such a roguish (is that the word) charm grin

  5. Ing: Am I getting your gist or getting it totally wrong?

    Usually I’m aware of my ambiguities – this time you showed me one I hadn’t considered.
    The picture I drew for my sales reps was that they didn’t have improve their efforts, techniques, etc that much to be better than the (average) opposition; the extra call, the cake for the staff at morning tea, the extra 5 minutes spent with a client after he says no, etc – they worked too often.
    Although as you suggest, at the top of the game there’s little room for error … but those were the sweetest games to win. smile

  6. But then you can be amoung the best in the country, and Senior Management still close you down as an alledged cost cutting move, giving the work to undertrained, under expirenced new recruits who are lost if the caller goes off script, despite the fact the public hate the call centres and complains to the office earmarked for closure about it.

    Me, bitter?- hell yeah.

  7. Me, bitter?- hell yeah.

    All you can say then is the old chestnut: Shit happens – usually at the most inappropriate times.
    ‘Having been there; done that’, twice, there comes a time when, for self-preservation, you have to stop wallowing in the metaphysical speculation of ‘what if’ and ‘why me’ and start looking for the next chapter in the journey.
    It takes courage and self-belief – the very two things that were marred in the experience – I found that opportunities came from the most unexpected places.
    Job security is a thing of history.

  8. Why is my skeptic meter going “ding, ding, ding, ding!”? Maybe because nuclear fusion releases gamma radiation? Why isn’t he and his whole fam damily dead???

  9. I can immediately think of two reasons.

    a) Sufficiently low levels of radiation.
    b) Lots of lead shielding.

    Ever heard of background radiation? Why isn’t all life extinct?

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