Build your own

Published in New Scientist, 26 Feb 2015

JAMIE EDWARDS is every bit the nuclear scientist – curious, diligent and passionate about unlocking the energy stored inside atoms. Last year, having scoured the web for parts and blueprints, he built his first working fusion reactor. The project would have been a tremendous feat for anyone, but in Jamie’s case there was an additional wow factor: he was just 13.

Jamie found himself propelled to global stardom by his achievement. The media were abuzz with excitement that the same process that makes the sun shine had been harnessed in Penwortham, a small town in northern England. The US television host David Letterman invited Jamie on to his chat show to discuss what prompted him to set about fusing hydrogen nuclei in a school laboratory. “I guess it was just the curiosity – I found it fascinating,” says Jamie, who has also been invited to talk about fusion to scientists several times his age. […]

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