Teen Makes Nuclear Fusion Reactor In Dad’s Shed


Fires and Explosions
When he was 3, Conrad found a screwdriver in a junk pile. He used it to disassemble his mother’s sofa recliner in the time it took her to take a shower. He removed every screw, hinge and spring and spread them across the floor.

“He would always be on excursions,” Jamie Farnsworth said. “He was always making something or inventing something.”

Sometimes his inventions worked. Sometimes they didn’t.

At 6, he started a fire at his grandparent’s house when he put a remote control wire antennae into a wall socket. The blaze blackened a wall.

He blew up bottles and made root beer. Twice, he tried raising fish. A hose came loose on his first attempt and syphoned all 55 gallons of water onto the floor. On the second, a 45-gallon trash can full of sea water tipped over.

Conrad learns from trial and error, said Dowding.

“He’s a risk taker, and he’s not afraid to try something and not be right,” she said. “He’s OK with failure because then he can learn from it.”

At 13, Conrad put a bomb made of hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil into a garbage can, to see how long it took to react. After several minutes, nothing happened. He lifted the lid and…

The bomb exploded.

“We had neighbors calling us to tell us that he’s blowing stuff up,” said his dad, Tom Farnsworth.

“Everyone around us knew what he was like.”

Conrad’s projects have matured as he has. His run-of-the-mill potato gun will soon be semi-automatic.

He uses a HAM radio, makes 3-D models on his 3-D printer and wore an electric-glowing tie for homecoming.

His parents used to understand his projects. Now, their eyes glaze over as he talks about alpha particles, boron tin tubes and decaying tritium.

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Posted by on Mar 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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