My name is Tom McCarthy, I am fourteen years old at the time of writing ( 24 – February – 2014 ) and my ambition is to be the first person in Ireland to construct a Fusor.  I am very interested in science, especially  physics and at the time of writing I am halfway through my second year of secondary school in St. Gerald’s College Castlebar.  A while ago, in May 2013, I was looking on the internet when I came across a talk by Taylor Wilson, an American  who built a Fusor at the age of fourteen.  I hope to achieve the same.


A Fusor is a nuclear fusion device that demonstrates something called inertial electrostatic confinement. The Fusor was first developed  by Philo T. Farnsworth  who was one of the main contributors to the invention of the modern television  (as a teenager he developed  and invented many things that helped to create the television as we know it).   Philo Farnsworth  was very interested in fusion as a source of clean and renewable power, and when he was older, in a bid to find a way to harness its energy, he developed  the first Fusor (called the Farnsworth Fusor). A variation of this Fusor was soon developed by Bob Hirsch and Gene Meeks, I am basing my Fusor design of this one, with the help of the people at fusor.net


I found Taylor Wilson’s talk very interesting  (it was about modular reactors that could power homes) and this led me to read about him and then the Fusor.  As I read more about the Fusor online, I became very interested in it and also discovered  that nobody in Ireland has built one to date.  I then found that Taylor Wilson was fourteen when he built his Fusor, and thought that as I was thirteen at the time I would be able to have a good shot at building a Fusor.  From there, I spent a lot of time reading about the different things that make a Fusor work and the general theory of it.


My aim is to build a fully functioning  Fusor.  Once I have built it, my aim is to use it to learn more about fusion and to enter the intermediate category of the BT Young Scientists & Technology Exhibition in January 2015.  I hope that I can use the Fusor to carry out some research and that this would be good enough to qualify for the intermediate chemical, physical and mathematical sciences BT Young Scientists category.  I feel that these aims are within my reach to do and I feel very excited about the project.  However,  what I found out was that to build a Fusor requires a lot of different pieces and equipment  that can be very hard to come by non-professionally and are mostly very expensive for a person of my age.


Obviously, a project of this nature will require some funding, I have set a funding goal of €10,000. I hope to launch a crowdfunding drive within the next few weeks to garner this funding, though if you would like to donate now would be very grateful. I will be updating this site regularly with information about my Fusor and any additional plans for it.


If you are interested in my project and would like some more information, please email me at tommccarthyprojects@gmail.com and I will be happy to talk to you.


Thank you for your support,

Tom McCarthy