Microsoft team helped Students to Build Nuclear Reactor in a Garage

Microsoft employee Carl Greninger helped a team of young students build a working nuclear reactor in his garage. He hopes the project can inspire a passion for physics in students around the country

So says Carl Greninger, a program manager in Microsoft IT Operations by day and full-fledged physics fanatic by night. That’s why he decided to help some young students get hands-on experience with something they couldn’t find in their classrooms: a working thermonuclear reactor.

Microsoft employee Carl Greninger (second from left) helped a group of young students build a working thermonuclear reactor. From left: students Chase Price, Kaylee O'Neal, Krystal Schuh, Eriik Snyder, and Jayce Glenn.

Microsoft employee Carl Greninger (second from left) helped a group of young students build a working thermonuclear reactor. From left: students Chase Price, Kaylee O’Neal, Krystal Schuh, Eriik Snyder, and Jayce Glenn.

For the past year, a group of local students – some as young as 13 years old – have met at Greninger’s garage every Friday night to build a type of fusion reactor known as a Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor. Dubbed IEC-9000, their machine has been fusing atoms and producing neutrons since May. It cost about as much as a high-end SUV, weighs 1,400 pounds, and generates temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun.

The students have shown off their machine at the Microsoft Research Science Fair, and they recently were invited to the World Science Festival in New York by physicist Brian Greene. But the biggest stage for the IEC-9000 perhaps awaits the start of the school year.

Note: This post is origionally from- http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/Features/2011/aug11/08-17Fusion.mspx

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