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Jay Lake
Date: 2007-03-19 06:17
Subject: The radioactive boy scout returns
Security: Public
Tags:cool, science, weird
Not sure if I believe this, because it closely mirrors a known urban legend, but supposedly a high school student has built a fusion reactor at home. The physics smells funny to me, but I am not a physicist, and I don't play one on the Internet.

If true, very cool indeed.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-03-19 14:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
agreed... sh!tty writeup.
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User: autopope
Date: 2007-03-19 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fusion isn't that hard to achieve, apparently. Sustained, exothermic fusion is an entirely different matter ...
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User: buymeaclue
Date: 2007-03-19 14:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What a great name. Thiago!
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User: bb_kristopher
Date: 2007-03-19 14:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This happens once every couple of years. The device he built is a well known type of fusion generator that's primarily useful as a neutron source and completely useless as a power source. As for the report calling in the business end of a hydrogen bomb, the reporter is an idiot.

If you want more info on the type of device this is, click here (it's a wikipedia article, so take it with a grain of salt, but the basics are there).
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-03-19 14:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, Bussard is/was working on a related design using polywell confinement which might be able to produce net power. Instead of a charged grid, he was using magnetic fields to contain injected electrons. His funding was blown up over Iraq last year.
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Chris McKitterick: mushroom cloud
User: mckitterick
Date: 2007-03-22 02:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:mushroom cloud
I just read about that in this month's Popular Science, btw, and it's legit. (The energy released is on the order of "enough to boil a cup of coffee," though the input is greater still.)

Apparently you can do it, yourself, with about $3000 and a few hundred hours of labor: Kewl! Expect to be added to terrorist watch lists, though.
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