The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: June 2015
Duration: 12 hours 35 minutes
This is the story of how an American teenager became the youngest person ever to build a working nuclear fusion reactor.
By the age of nine, Taylor Wilson had mastered the science of rocket propulsion. At eleven, his grandmother's cancer diagnosis drove him to investigate new ways to produce medical isotopes. And by fourteen, Wilson had built a 500-million-degree reactor and become the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion. How could someone so young achieve so much, and what can Wilson's story teach parents and teachers about how to support high-achieving kids?
In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, science journalist Tom Clynes narrates Taylor's extraordinary journey-from his Arkansas home where his parents fully supported his intellectual passions; to a unique Reno, Nevada, public high school just for academic superstars; to the present, when now nineteen-year-old Wilson is winning international science competitions with devices designed to prevent terrorists from shipping radioactive material into the country. Along the way, Clynes reveals how our education system shortchanges gifted students-and what we can do to fix it.
“Here is the amazing story of an unbelievable boy—somebody who seems more like a figure out of fiction (science fiction, to be specific) than reality. But the story is true, the boy is true, and the science is true. And the world that opens up to us through his story is both fascinating and slightly terrifying…but in a good way. You won’t be able to walk away from this tale.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author