How I built a nuclear reactor at the age of 13 | Jamie Edwards | TEDxCERN

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What does it take to build a nuclear reactor? Jamie Edwards started out on his journey at age 13 to beat Taylor Wilson’s record of being the youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion. He tells of the obstacles he faced as a young schoolboy while trying to achieve his dream, such as trying to convince his headmaster to order deuterium on ebay.

At 13 years old, Jamie Edwards attempted to become the youngest person ever to achieve nuclear fusion by colliding the nuclei of hydrogen atoms via inertial electrostatic confinement in his school lab. When Jamie told his headmaster about his plan to build the nuclear reactor and asked for funding, the reply was “Will it blow up the school?” Jamie got the funding, and rest assured, the school still stands. For his next project, Jamie – who wants to be a nuclear engineer or work in theoretical physics – has his sights on building a miniature hadron collider. He’s now 14 years old.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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  1. Okay but that's only possible only if the teachers helped, our school participates in science fair every year in national level but doesn't pay any money for the resources, they just select few students, last year I was selected and tell them to build something, but it's us who have to buy the resources using our own money.

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