High School Fusor: Fusors 1.3 and 1.4 Mini-Update (and much more to come)

Max E.
2 min readApr 12, 2023

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I have given myself a two month deadline to achieve nuclear fusion.

It has been my goal to do nuclear fusion as a high school student (it’s in the blog name, after all) and as my graduation date (scarily) comes closer, I’ve realized that I have to pick up the pace or run out of time.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with missing this self-imposed deadline and fusing for the first time in the summer. Despite that, I know that my schedule will fill up quickly and I know that summer internships, college programs, and other activities may get in the way of achieving my goal. For that reason, I have resolved to make a concerted effort to achieve fusion before my graduation date in May.

Given the information that I have published here that may seem like an unrealistic goal, however I have made a lot of progress between my last post that I have not yet had the time to document.

At the time of my last post, I had just received the core of my vacuum system, a TPU-170 turbopump. Additionally, I was just foraying into the world of radiation metering with a Ukranian Geiger counter and dosimeter pens. Now, several months later, I am in the process of leak testing my completed turbopump vacuum system and am considering selling my Geiger counter to afford a combination Beta/Gamma and Neutron detection system.

Finally, I have purchased and am beginning to experiment with a Hipotronics 30C 30kV 10mA transformer to replace my current 12kV 30mA neon sign transformer. Within the coming days, my system will fulfill two thirds of the requirements for achieving nuclear fusion, needing only a gas injection system to supply deuterium to the fusor chamber and a neutron probe to measure the fusion byproducts.

Because I have not had time to post updates periodically, I have quite a backlog of pictures, data, and progress to publish here. For that reason, in the coming weeks I hope to write and post a series of shorter, more specific updates regarding everything that I have listed above.

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Max E.

Hi, my name is Max and I’m a freshman at Columbia SEAS! This blog is where I document my progress designing and building a FarnsworthHirsch IEC nuclear fusor :)