Wow...college freshman builds nuclear fusion reactor...

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911paramedic

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2002
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"I bet I'm the only high school student that has one," Craig Wallace said.

Do ya think?? LOL
 

CPA

Elite Member
Nov 19, 2001
30,322
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Originally posted by: Skoorb
I thought that fission was what we used and fusion wasn't really understood properly yet?

Fission is what I get when I open up a bottle of well-shaken rootbeer. :D






I know, lame.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
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That's pretty cool, but a little misleading of a title. It implies a fusion reactor along the lines of the fission nuclear power plants we have today in cities and on nuclear subs. Unless I misread that article, he didn't actually create such a device, on any level. The problem with fusion reactions is that in order to control them, you have to use more energy than you get out, at least currently. That is why they aren't used as power generators. As it said in the article, the device the is more useful for generating neutrons than power, however that is still very, very cool. I doubt I could do it.

But I read the title and thought that some college freshman had cracked the puzzle and secured the future of energy productions. Guess not, still cool though
 

Jzero

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
18,834
1
0
Originally posted by: 911paramedic
"I bet I'm the only high school student that has one," Craig Wallace said.

Do ya think?? LOL

He's probably right. But his fusion reactor isn't going make out with him on his parents couch.
Or will it........?

:D
 

ebaycj

Diamond Member
Mar 9, 2002
5,418
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0
Originally posted by: Rainsford
That's pretty cool, but a little misleading of a title. It implies a fusion reactor along the lines of the fission nuclear power plants we have today in cities and on nuclear subs. Unless I misread that article, he didn't actually create such a device, on any level. The problem with fusion reactions is that in order to control them, you have to use more energy than you get out, at least currently. That is why they aren't used as power generators. As it said in the article, the device the is more useful for generating neutrons than power, however that is still very, very cool. I doubt I could do it.

But I read the title and thought that some college freshman had cracked the puzzle and secured the future of energy productions. Guess not, still cool though

True. He built a "Hot" fusion reactor, one that takes in more power than it puts out. Still not a trivial exercise though.

If he would have built a "Cold" fusion reactor, methinks he would have won first place.

ebaycj
 

GeneValgene

Diamond Member
Sep 18, 2002
3,887
0
76
Originally posted by: Shanti
Originally posted by: Beau
How the F did "eating blueberries" top a home-built reactor?
LOL, that was my though.
I guess since he was following plans rather than inventing it from scratch.

for anyone curious, here's the blueberry pie one:

Teen scientist savors success
Niskayuna-- Project that looked at health effects of blueberries wins prize at Intel competition
By RICK KARLIN, Times Union Staff writer

It was a tasty victory for Jennifer D'Ascoli, and one that is bound to color her future. D'Ascoli, a 17-year-old junior at The Academy of the Holy Names, cooked up an experiment that won her a top prize in last month's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

She competed with 1,350 promising young scientists and engineers from 35 nations at the finals of the Intel competition in Cleveland. When the judging was over, she had a First Grand Award in the physics category, a $3,000 prize, and a measure of international notice.

The title of her project: "Is Blueberry Pie Bad for You?"

"The answer is no," said D'Ascoli, of Niskayuna.

According to a sophisticated chemical and physical analysis that D'Ascoli conducted, the pies could indeed be beneficial, thanks to blueberries' potential properties as a cancer fighter. Cooked blueberries, she said, "are possibly more effective than raw berries" in combating free radicals, which are oxygen atoms believed to cause cellular damage and even cancer.

Flavonoids are found in numerous fruits and vegetables.

Focusing on naringenin, a flavonoid found in blueberries, D'Ascoli figured that heating the substance would change its molecular structure, thus altering how it would interact with free radicals.

Working at a University at Albany physics lab, she heated naringenin and another flavonoid, genistein, to more than 500 degrees, well beyond the temperature at which a pie would be scorched. She then observed the changes that resulted.

D'Ascoli started her research with the help of her science teacher, Donna Mooney,

"She kind of developed it over the course of two years," Mooney said of the experiment.

Mooney also introduced D'Ascoli to a University at Albany physics professor, Susanne Lee, who has served as a mentor to the young researcher. After scouring scientific literature about flavonoids, D'Ascoli used UAlbany's testing and detection equipment to observe changes in the heated substances.

D'Ascoli said her interest in fighting cancer stemmed from reading fiction by Lurlene McDaniels as a child. McDaniels' stories often include characters who are battling cancer.

Knowing that flavonoids show promise as a treatment for breast cancer further narrowed D'Ascoli's research. She conducted much of her lab work last summer, after morning swim practice with the Mohawk Marlins swim club and driver's education classes.

Her interest in health and the salutary effects of blueberries may run in the family: Her father is an orthopedic surgeon and her mother is a dietitian.

Mooney said D'Ascoli is fairly quiet in class but invariably grows excited by lab experiments. "She's very gung-ho with this kind of thing," said Mooney.

With this year's competition over, D'Ascoli plans to keep pushing the boundaries of her research, with the next step being a possible experiment to see how flavonoids affect actual cancer cells.

Joan Wagner, director of the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair, which funnels participants to the Intel competition, said D'Ascoli's work may well lead to participation in a published research paper -- quite a feat for a teenager.

"She's coming out with some really new information," said Wagner who added that only a handful of kids win top awards at the Intel event. Science fairs affiliated with Intel draw tens of thousands of participants worldwide. The Capital Region event is based at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Down the road, D'Ascoli said she wants to study biochemistry in college and possibly work as a pediatrician or oncologist.

So does she take her research to heart and consume blueberry pies? "I had some the other night," she said with a chuckle.
 

EyeMWing

Banned
Jun 13, 2003
15,670
1
0
Originally posted by: ebaycj
Originally posted by: Rainsford
That's pretty cool, but a little misleading of a title. It implies a fusion reactor along the lines of the fission nuclear power plants we have today in cities and on nuclear subs. Unless I misread that article, he didn't actually create such a device, on any level. The problem with fusion reactions is that in order to control them, you have to use more energy than you get out, at least currently. That is why they aren't used as power generators. As it said in the article, the device the is more useful for generating neutrons than power, however that is still very, very cool. I doubt I could do it.

But I read the title and thought that some college freshman had cracked the puzzle and secured the future of energy productions. Guess not, still cool though

True. He built a "Hot" fusion reactor, one that takes in more power than it puts out. Still not a trivial exercise though.

If he would have built a "Cold" fusion reactor, methinks he would have won first place.

ebaycj

If he'd built a cold fusion reactor, that fscker would be set for life - until some environmental whackjob kills him based on the false assumption that cold fusion reactors are more apt to melting down than fission reactors.
 

K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
46,283
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Becoming the Bill Gates of energy would be nice. Trillions instead of billions.

I don't think it is even possible for a fusion reactor to melt down.
 

SagaLore

Elite Member
Dec 18, 2001
24,037
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Wallace began winning contests ? local, state, national ? culminating in second place in the International Intel Science and Engineering Fair last May in Cleveland.

2nd place? What did you have to do to get 1st place - build an atom bomb?
 

UTmtnbiker

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2000
4,129
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Good god! That's just up the street from me. :Q

Okay, about 100 miles, but still close enough that I should start looking for lead lined underwear.
 

NesuD

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,999
106
106
Originally posted by: CPA
Originally posted by: Skoorb
I thought that fission was what we used and fusion wasn't really understood properly yet?

Fission is what I get when I open up a bottle of well-shaken rootbeer. :D






I know, lame.

no actually that is an out of control fizzing reaction not fission. common mistake everyone makes.;)
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
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www.slatebrookfarm.com
Originally posted by: UTmtnbiker
Good god! That's just up the street from me. :Q

Okay, about 100 miles, but still close enough that I should start looking for lead lined underwear.

You're thinking of a fission reactor. This is water he's playing with. (well, the hydrogen part of water... and, heavy water at that, which is only a fraction of regular water.)

WOW WOW WOW, I want one! And, I agree, htf does someone beat a fusion reactor with blueberry pie? ESPECIALLY in a physics category??!
 

PowerMacG5

Diamond Member
Apr 14, 2002
7,701
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Originally posted by: K1052
Becoming the Bill Gates of energy would be nice. Trillions instead of billions. I don't think it is even possible for a fusion reactor to melt down.

Fusion reactors can melt down.
 

A5

Diamond Member
Jun 9, 2000
4,902
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Originally posted by: HappyPuppy
Originally posted by: Skoorb
I thought that fission was what we used and fusion wasn't really understood properly yet?
You understood correctly. It's bullshit.
Fusion itself isn't bullshit (See: The Sun, Modern nuclear weapons); just cold fusion, from what we understand at this time.