Taylor Wilson: A Prodigy Nuclear Physics Enthusiast and Science Advocate

1 min read

At the age of 14, most of us were busy figuring out how to do homework on time. Taylor Wilson at 14 embarked his name as the youngest person ever to produce a nuclear fusion using a fusor. His life story through his prodigy eyes can’t just be expressed by mere words. Here’s his story.

Family and Personal life

With unstoppable motivation and support from his parents, Taylor Wilson fulfilled his ambition.

Taylor Wilson was born in Texarkana, Arkansas, on 7 May 1994 to the Wilson couple. His parents were Kenneth and Tiffany Wilson. His mother was a yoga instructor, and his father is the owner of a Coca-Cola bottling plant. He got full support from his parents to fulfill his ambition or what he wanted to do. As a parent and from a non-scientific background Wilson couple found many significant challenges. They discovered their 10-12-year son deeply engaged with the dark, scary nuclear material, but they never demotivated their son. At the age of 10, his interest in rocketry and space science started. But later, his interest in nuclear science grew. 


After completing his primary school education, Taylor moved to Reno, Nevada, for higher studies. He attended both the Davidson Academy of Nevada and the University of Nevada, Reno, during his High School. This was where he got a laboratory to conduct his fusion research. 


Seeing Taylor’s talent at the age of 18 in June 2012, he got the Thiel Fellowship. This Fellowship offers $100.000 over two years under the age of 23 for scientific research with guidance and resources. He entered the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in California, United State in 2010. He won many awards for his project “Fission Vision” . Again entered for ISEF Competition in May 2011 with his new project radiation detector against 1500 competitors and won $50,000. He became a member of the Helena Group in 2017. He got first prize for his “Countering Nuclear Terrorism” project in the Physics and Astronomy Category. The child prodigy also won the Intel Young Science Award.

Scientific Inventions and upcoming Projects

The innovative child prodigy completed many science projects.

In 2008, Taylor achieved nuclear fusion using an inertial electrostatic confinement device and bomb-sniffing device. That caught the attention of the whole world and impressed even the president. During the same time, he built his Nuclear fusion reactor and startled the world with his achievement as a teenager. At TED 2013 Wilson spoke about the benefit of making a small underground nuclear fission. He represented his own idea and experiences about nuclear fusion toward the world.

For building an inexpensive Cherenkov radiation detector, Taylor got many offers. Even the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the U.S Department of Energy approached him. 

Taylor designed a variant of a compact molten salt reactor to temporarily leave out their fusion reactor project. This supplied about 50MWe, which needed refuel every 30 years. It should not be a complicated material problem even in harsh fluoride salt environments.

Also read: Bu Xiangzhi: One of the youngest chess Grandmaster from China

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