I’m Tom McCarthy.  In May 2013 I began a project to build a Fusor.  Since then, I’ve raised over €10,000 to build it, secured a space for the device in University College Cork (and then moved it back to Mayo), and been featured in Irish media.  You can check out a video on the right from Summer 2014.  I’m now studying Physics at Trinity College Dublin.


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.  Farnsworth was interested in fusion as a source of clean and renewable power, and 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 very knowledgeable people at fusor.net


I first found out about Fusors in a Wikipedia article, and then a TED talk by Taylor Wilson.  It was about modular reactors that could power homes, and this led me to read about him and then the Fusor.  I 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, it’s taken a little longer than initially imagined!


My aim is to build a fully functioning  Fusor.  As a stand-alone device, one of the Fusor’s main attractions is a neutron source.  However, current Fusor designs and systems don’t produce enough neutrons to be a valuable source.  When this Fusor is in operation, I will proceed with research into improving its neutron output to the point where it is a viable source.


Obviously, a project like this requires some funding.  I set a goal of €10,000 to build the Fusor, and this was successfully raised.  Along with the funds raised, corporate sponsors have made major contributions to the project, in both equipment and expertise – This has been extremely helpful.


If you are interested in my project and would like some more information, you can contact me at tommccarthyprojects at gmail dot com


Some other things I’m interested in are quantum computing, business, computers, music (I play guitar), reading, boxing and Gaelic football.