A Penwortham schoolboy is the youngest person in the world to build a nuclear fusion reactor.
Teen scientist Jamie Edwards. 13, built the reactor from scratch, with help from his school, in a race against time to snatch the world record off American Taylor Wilson, who was 14 when he became the youngest ‘fusioneer’ in 2008.
Jamie, who is 14 on Sunday, started building the reactor in October in a under-used science laboratory at Priory Academy and finally finished the task this morning , making two atoms of hydrogen smash together to make helium – a nuclear fusion.
The young boffin said: “ It is quite an achievement. “It’s magnificent really. I can’t quite believe it – even though all my friends think I am mad.”
Jamie has always had a taste for science and used to try and do his older brother Danny’s science homework.
He said: “One day, I was looking on the internet for radiation or other aspects of nuclear energy and I came across Taylor Wilson and his reactor.
“I looked at it, thought ‘that looks cool’ and decided to have a go.
Basically I made a star in a jar. It’s amazing really, quite a feat, to be from Penwortham and be the youngest person in the world to do this.”
Jamie, along with friend George Barker who has helped him with the administrative side, set about trying to create the nuclear fusion reactor by contacting like-minded physicists.
Trying to rise the funds wasn’t easy. Jamie said: “I went to various nuclear laboratories and universities and they didn’t seem to take me seriously .”
So, he went his head teacher Jim Hourigan in October.
Jamie added: “I had to give a presentation and talk to him about safety, the benefits and what could go right or wrong.
“I needed £2,000 and he said he would fund it and also put £1,000 into a contingency fund so that myself and others could continue my work as I would like to make it energy efficient.”
Mr Hourigan added: “I was a bit stunned and I have to say a little nervous when Jamie suggested this but he reassured me he wouldn’t blow the school up.
Wilson has since become an internet sensation.”
The fusion took place in a controlled environment in school before an audience of experts.
It was video and now has to be officially recognized by the Fusioneers.
R&B Switchgear tested the electronics due to the high voltage which was needed in the control panel and Manchester University have been involved in checking the machinery.
Several of the staff, along with Jamie and George, went to Westinghouse Springfields Fuels Ltd for a risk assessment and safety course.
Jamie has set up a blog http://jamiesfusionproject.blogspot.co.uk/