Tom McCarthy

Tom was in 2014 14 years old and resident in County Mayo, on the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Ireland.

He is a student in St Gerald’s College in the town of Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Speaking to RTE radio Tom described his plans to construct a nuclear fusion reactor in his back garden.

Tom, who has a passion for physics as well as basketball and GAA, hopes to have the reactor finished before September. It will be placed inside his family's garden shed, he told RTE.

The young student explained how he came across an online video illustrating the concept of the reactor and “I just fell in love with it”.

“You could build a fusion reactor in the shed you know so I immediately started researching it, what you need, how you do it, you know? And since then a number of people have come on board including my uncle, Professor Tommy McCarthy from University College Cork.

“There’s a doctor of plasma physics from University College Cork, Dr Patrick McCarthy, although he’s not related and there’s a couple of other people who have come on board as well,” Tom added.

When asked why he wanted to build a nuclear fusion reactor in his family’s back garden, he said it was for “power generation” and part of a five-year plan to expand into energy generation.

Boldly, and after american experience somewhat inaccurately, he says that "such a project has never been constructed before" – and he wants to see if he can make it a reality. “There’s a type of generator that’s never been built before. It’s been theorised. I think I can do it and I hope I can anyways as it would be really great.”

Tom said his parents took some time to get used to the idea.

“It took them a while to get used to it at first. They thought I was a bit crazy and I got a few funny looks but they’re quite okay with it now and we’re well on our way.”

And as for his neighbours – well, a lot of them aren’t aware of the project.

Tom is now in the process of collecting a varied array of materials. (Condensed from an RTE radio news transcript).

Not unlike Sheldon.

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