52 votes

Hi I'm Taylor Wilson, and I built a Nuclear Fusion Reactor @14 in My Parent's Garage; Soon, You can, Too!

Oh, and found a cheap way to detect cancer, from what used to cost 100's of thousands of dollars, to barely over $100, oh yeah, and also invented about a hundred times cheaper radiation detector for port security.

All before he's even legally allowed to drink. Now, how about that?

Meet the Future, the WunderKind: Taylor Wilson

Taylor Wilson: My radical plan for small nuclear fission reactors


Published on Apr 30, 2013
Filmed Feb. 2013, Long Beach, CA

Taylor Wilson was 14 when he built a nuclear fusion reactor in his parents' garage. Now 19, he returns to the TED stage to present a new take on an old topic: fission. Wilson, who has won backing to create a company to realize his vision, explains why he's so excited about his innovative design for small modular fission reactors -- and why it could be the next big step in solving the global energy crisis.

TED Bio Page:

Why you should listen to him:

Physics wunderkind Taylor Wilson astounded the science world when, at age 14, he became the youngest person in history to produce fusion. The University of Nevada-Reno offered a home for his early experiments when Wilson’s worried parents realized he had every intention of building his reactor in the garage.

Wilson now intends to fight nuclear terror in the nation's ports, with a homemade radiation detector priced an order of magnitude lower than most current devices. In 2012, Wilson's dreams received a boost when he became a recipient of the $100,000 Thiel Prize. Wilson now intends revolutionize the way we produce energy, fight cancer, and combat terrorism using nuclear technology.

"Kenneth asked a nuclear-pharmacist friend to come over to check on Taylor’s safety practices. As far as he could tell, the friend said, the boy was getting it right."

Tom Clynes, Popular Science

Additional show notes from the official TED Blog:

Good energy comes in small packages: Taylor Wilson at TED2013

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick
February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm EDT

Taylor Wilson graduated from high school in May. And Popular Science has already dubbed him “The Boy who Played with Fusion” and Forbes has suggested that he may just be “The Bill Gates of Energy.”

Taylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactorTaylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactorWilson first received attention at the age of 14, after building a nuclear fusion reactor he’d dreamed up in his parents’ garage. He spoke at TED2012 about that experience, and he’s back this year at TED2013 to talk about a new project.

“I realized that the biggest problem we face — what all these other problems come down to — is energy,” says Wilson. “This is a talk about fission — about taking something old and bringing it into the 21st century.”

Wilson has invented Small Modular Fission Reactors. These reactors are small, meaning that they can be built in factories and shipped wherever they need to go. They are installed three meters underground — making them far safer from a counterterrorism standpoint than something aboveground. And these are molten salt reactors, which means that they have the potential to run on the waste from old nuclear weapons — making the wide distribution of this technology a potential way to secure the material from weapon stockpiles.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I'm not sure they can be sued for "National Security" reasons

doing so would require declassification of these patents, of which it is estimated there are five to six thousand.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Wrong. The patent office will

Wrong. The patent office will not issue fantasy device patents. If someone had a FUNCTIONAL "over-unity device" there would be absolutely nothing preventing them from securing a patent. There are no issued patents because none of those "amazing", physics defying devices work.

To say "they don't work" is wrong.

Just because they aren't on the market doesn't mean the product doesn't exist. I obviously can't disprove you since I have not seen one myself, but you can't disprove that these devices do exist, either.

Here's an example that you might consider: The B2 Stealth Bomber has been "in rumors" since the late 1970's, yet, the USAF finally declassifies "the aircraft in whole." Which means, certain devices within the B2 Bomber are still classified as "Secret" or "Top Secret."

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Let's try to unravel the

Let's try to unravel the logic here...

"Just because they aren't on the market doesn't mean the product doesn't exist."


"I obviously can't disprove you since I have not seen one myself, but you can't disprove that these devices do exist, either."

I don't need to disprove their existence. You (or the inventors) have to prove their existence. They must not only provide the product, but the proof. That no patents have been issued for these non-functional devices is proof they are not science-fiction/fantasy contraptions.

I do, as a matter of fact, know from personal experience that sometimes the government will attempt to shut down a patent due to "national security" concerns.

Alrighty then:

Vast list of everything Nikola Tesla and his "Free Energy Devices" with patent #'s:

Stan Meyer's Fuel Cell on video and patent #'s:

To be fair, you could debate that a court found Meyer's invention "fraudulant," even though Meyer video recorded the mileage and output power in all of his experiments.

*Patent numbers listed at bottom on Wiki*

Here's a weird one: John Searl had a patent issued to him, but it comes up "blank" and says "full text not available." So, there's a patent number issued on this one, but there is no text to read. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want:


In a previous reply to me, you said this:

"If someone had a FUNCTIONAL "over-unity device" there would be absolutely nothing preventing them from securing a patent."

And I agree with you: most governments suppress this information.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Keep in mind that the USPTO

Keep in mind that the USPTO does not issue patents for so-called "over-unity devices" (aka perpetual motion machines). Patents for "force field generators", etc. are not included in this description... HOWEVER, simply because a patent is issued is not a guarantee that the product itself functions or the process is valuable. The patent merely protects the intellectual property of the inventor and it is up the them to exploit their patents to make them valuable.

You've got to be kidding me, VU:

You just said the USPTO does not issue patents for "Fantasy inventions." Then I gave you a list of inventors that have claimed more output power was acheived with less power input. Those inventors were given USPTO patents. Still with me?

I used your own logic and now you say, "HOWEVER, simply because a patent is issued is not a guarantee that the product itself functions or the process is valuable."

Are the USPTO lying by giving these patents to these inventors or are the USPTO giving these patents because they work?

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Because a device works does

Because a device works does not make it valuable. Because one has a patent does not make that patent valuable:



And none of the patents you referenced were granted for "over-unity" or perpetual motion. They were issued to protect design or mechanical properties. No patents have ever been issued to protect perpetual motion properties because devices demonstrating such properties do not exist.


Did you even look at the devices in the Tesla page or did you just see my response and reply immediately?

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Yes, I looked. Nothing Tesla

Yes, I looked. Nothing Tesla did violates physics. His issued patents do not describe mysterious or magical properties.

Sure, but

Classified Patents for reasons of National Security do "exist". The patents do belong to their respective owners but they are gagged for security reasons. More likely, they are protecting the current corporate infrastructure in place with Big Energy and Big Oil companies' influence in Government.

"Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

-delete- WTH?

This is only in the case of

This is only in the case of "inventions" which inventors have applied for patents. There is absolutely nothing preventing an inventor from disclosing the invention in question to the public without patent protection or from disclosing a patent that is currently pending. Remember, a patent discloses aspects of the invention that are unique, often times referring to previous inventions that they have built upon to improve or evolve certain technologies or processes.

Ok, I have no desire in arguing over the patent process

I could care less. You clearly have a different understanding of "Classified for National Security" than I do and also have a different idea of what happens to people that declassify documents the Government deems dangerous to the security of its nation. My guess is those people suddenly "don't exist" either.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Not exactly. People can in

Not exactly. People can in fact ignore "requests" to keep their mouth shut and not end up dead. Word to the wise.

This sounds great but

what happens to technology that saves "small people" money?

It gets derailed. Every time. Zero point energy extraction, Geothermal (which Iceland has been using for some time now), Stan Meyer's Hydro Engine (RIP Mr. Meyer), Searle's SEG motor (Anyone have news on that guy? Can't find).

I know Ken Rassmussen roams these parts of the interwebs: he has a website called CommuteFaster.com/Energy2 that lists some news on energy development/corruption/current tech. (Hey there Ken)


If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Geothermal is up and running

what a phony kid

this looks like a piece they'd show at the end of NBC's nightly news segment 'making a difference'. i thought paulites were objective and capable of cutting through the BS. this is so overproduced it reminds me of KONY2012 and steve jobs' and zuckerberg's self-serving keynote speeches.

this kid is nothing special. style over substance. maybe they'll give him a recurring role on ryan lochte's reality show.

so... SO.... phony.

wake up people.

What are you babbling on

What are you babbling on about? The video is from the TED conference. Ever heard of it?

Here's another profile on this kid: http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/11/taylor-wil...

Your comments make you look like you're jealous of the attention he's gotten.

But fusor plans are all over

But fusor plans are all over the internet? I'm afraid the scientific and nuclear energy community will build the kid up only to tragically tear him down. As far as the radiation tester goes, it may cost $100 to build, but what about testing and EPA certifications and all that other b.s. that makes politicians money?? $100 may represent the true build cost of what these machines should be.

Cyril's picture

Sounds promising but...

This sounds promising but I have to admit my physics/chemistry classes are way behind me in time to fully appreciate the outline.

If it is as sound as it is presented to be, I would suggest that someone URGENTLY reaches out to this young man and warns him WITH GREAT SERIOUSNESS about the tremendous power of governments, perverted laws, and special interests of all kinds to destroy or exploit the greatest innovations for whatever purpose serves them.

The thing is it isn't tremendously difficult to produce and distribute energy, including non polluting. It isn't tremendously difficult to sell it either, in the principle : you find demand, you provide supply, price discovery follows.

If he innovated greatly further, to make it dramatically easier, cheaper, safer to produce, all the better. Can I expect to see my electricity bill fall to something like $10/Month - yes, just ten "dollars" - 5 years from now, then? Time will tell...

Here is what is tremendously difficult :

to overcome the completely fraudulent "money" system everybody is trapped in today, entirely based on COUNTERFEITING, to avoid the sword of perverted laws voted by politicians who couldn't care less about any breakthroughs, EVER, and to escape the marketing and bureaucratic hitmen of legacy monopolies who have THE BEST INTERESTS in seeing you fail, upfront, or be eliminated from the loop. Especially easy on the captive, non-free markets they control.

Hence, my above suggestion. If he could at least be warned properly, he might be able to make it, eventually.

I sincerely wish him best of luck with the people he'll be coming across.

Reality refresher; here is what the genuinely positive ideas of this young man are up against:


Lose sight of that and nothing else will matter. Not even man genius.

Just ask Ron Paul about his mere questioning of today's banking system practices. For just one domain among the others.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

hmm, I wonder how much one of these costs?

I'll bet a person that buys one of these and starts installing a new power grid could make some good money selling electricity to a town.

it took a teenager

to come up with this idea. I would what the Fat Head scientists at Exelon Corporation were doing? Corporations = profits over people

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

He had better capitalize on these ideas fast

because as soon as he reaches his early twenties, the grander his ideas are the more people will just mock him... and the worse that gets with age. Trust me. Hopefully, he's got rich relatives that he can count on instead of broke POS ones like most intelligent people otherwise 'capitalizing' on his ideas will mean signing all the rights away.

So are hundreds of other kids

I've seen this kid's stories many times now and have yet to see him turn anything into commercial products. That's key because without it, he'll be a has-been before he gets going.

And... patents don't always help the situation. Often times, they close doors instead of opening them. It all depends on what type of investors one is courting. It may be very easy to find sharks and give away the farm but keeping it is a very different story. People don't invest that way unless you have a long track record of success.

What it all boils down to is those with the money big enough to make things go easy for him have the world working the way they want it right now. They don't want change unless it yields them more power. If you want more inventions, fix the bank problems. Don't raise one kid on a pedestal. Once fixed, they'll come out of the woodwork in droves!

Signed, Experience (with patents)

Let me know when his company

Let me know when his company has its IPO. Impressive!

I see both fussion and

I see both fussion and fission being used up there, they are two different things.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

yes they are both being used up here,

and yes, they are two different things.

What he built at 14 is what they call a FUSOR, a fuSion device.

What he is talking about in the video is a FISSION device.

If you saw the video, it's actually pretty clear what he's talking about; if you read his bio that I posted in the same thread, in the lower portion, it's clear that he made a FUSOR when he was 14.

Plus, this kid is, now, world-renown; it's not like they're pulling him out of Area51.D

It's all real, my friend. All real. And he clearly knows the difference between the two. However, if you thought that I was confusing the two, I 'get' it, by the headline alone:

Hi I'm Taylor Wilson, and I built a Nuclear Fusion Reactor @14 in My Parent's Garage; Soon, You can, Too!

suppose I did it for better flow and to reduce length, otherwise I'd have to have written:

Hi I'm Taylor Wilson, and I built a Nuclear Fusor (a Fusion Reactor) @14 in My Parent's Garage; Soon, You can may be able to obtain my latest Fission Reactor designs, derived from my trials and errors and progress made since my Fusor, Too!


Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

I really doubt this. I don't

I really doubt this. I don't doubt that he could at his age, but the presentation - it's seems very faked. Sorry. He doesn't have the money or the experience to pull off what he's repeating from the internet.

20 something, maybe. Not out of high school, nah. He hasn't done it, he's just talking!