A Nigerian 17-year old, Steven Udotong has become the first black student to invent a nuclear energy fusor.
A fusor is an essential device in the chemistry of nuclear fusion.
Nuclear fusion is the reaction in which two atoms of hydrogen merges to form an atom of helium. In the process some of the mass of the hydrogen is converted into energy.
So a nuclear fusor is the device that uses an electric field to heat ions to conditions suitable for nuclear fusion. The fusor generates an electric potential difference between two metal cages inside a vacuum. Fusion reactions is the process that powers the Sun and other stars.
Steven Udotong, a high school junior, at Cinnaminson High School, Southern New Jersey, hopes that this invention would contribute to the pursuit of alternative energy sources that are most importantly eco-friendly.
He wants to project his conviction that “nuclear energy is a lot safer than people think”. Making a move towards his vision, the science and tech-enthusiast created a GoFundMe page which helped him raise $1,500 for supplies in a total of one month.
“I grew curious after we flew by the topic of nuclear energy in my chemistry class last year. I decided to do more research and I soon learned that I could actually make a nuclear fusor.”
“That sparked my interest. I want people to know that there are alternate methods for obtaining power and energy.” “I want to examine more clean energy products and stop the fear of the word ‘nuclear'”
Steven Udotong has a long term vision of making the nuclear energy issue a national concern. He says he will take the consideration of alternative energy source to the state and federal level once he is done with the invention.
He also hopes that his fusor invention will motivate the younger generation especially black students in pursuing their dreams and making a mark with them.
“There’s room for us. There’s a need for us to participate in academia, business, art, law, medicine, and yes, nuclear energy”
“I hope this project will become an example of academic excellence as vehicle of accomplishment for black students.”
At the moment, Udotong who has only completed the first part of his invention. When he is done, he hopes to use it for an exhibition at science fairs and competitions.
It will be a dream come true for him if he earns a scholarship with the fusor invention.
Interestingly, his older brother, Emmanuel, is a computer science student at Princeton University. Little wonder why Steve also has a keen interest in tech-designs and invention.