Youngest nuclear scientist: Taylor Wilson sets world record (Video) RENO, Nevada, USA -- Taylor Wilson, 17, spends his time advising the Department of Homeland Security on anti-terrorism tactics, and coordinating with the Department of Energy on nuclear fusion research - which makes him to set the world record for the Youngest nuclear scientist, according to World Record Academy (www.worldrecordacademy.com).
Photo: Taylor Wilson, the World's Nuclear Scientist, built a functioning device that can detect nuclear weapons smuggled in cargo containers. He's 17. It works via a nuclear fusion reactor that he also built. When he was 14. (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the youngest university professor was set by Alia Sabur (USA), who was appointed as a full-time faculty Professor of the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion at Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea, aged 18 years 362 days.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the the youngest ever astronomer to discover an asteroid, set by 18-year old Luigi Sannino (Italy).
At age 7, he'd memorized every rocket made by the U.S. and Soviet governments from the 1930s onward. But of all of Wilson's obsessions, radioactivity stuck.
At age 11 Taylor was mining for uranium with his dad in the New Mexico desert, and was buying vials of plutonium off the Internet. At age 14, Wilson became the youngest person in the world to build a nuclear fusion reactor, according to MentalFloss.com.
"I'm obsessed with radioactivity. I don't know why," says Wilson in his laid-back drawl. "Possibly because there's power in atoms that you can't see, an unlocked power."
Wilson is the youngest person in the world to create Nuclear Fusion and the 31st person to do it privately outside of government and industry.
Wilson thinks his youth is an asset. "Because kids haven't been exposed to the bureaucracy of professional science, they're a lot more open to trying things," Wilson says. "In that way, I think kids are able to sometimes do better science than adults."
"I think the U.S. Department of Energy is a little concerned that the motivation of young people to get interested in that kind of science has waned. I think that's one of the reasons doors have been opened to Taylor. He's a phenomenon, probably the most brilliant person I've met in my life, and I've met Nobel laureates," points out one of Wilson's mentors, Ron Phaneuf, a professor of physics at the University of Nevada in Reno.
Wilson jokes: "My friends always say, 'Don't mess with Taylor. He has radioactive stuff.'"