This chain smoking, gun loving guy built a nuclear reactor in his home

Illustration for article titled This chain smoking, gun loving guy built a nuclear reactor in his home

He chain smokes. He loves his guns. And he almost looks homeless. But he's actually pretty damn awesome. Meet Doug Coulter. A gunsmith who's also an amazing DIY engineer. So amazing that he's built a nuclear fusion reactor in his basement. Yup.

Motherboard visited Coulter to see his DIY fusion reactor and to see how he lives and it makes for an entertaining short documentary. Coulter's way of life and outlook on things is refreshing, he just makes good shit. He has open sourced his gun and ammo making techniques and shares everything on his engineering forum. Motherboard writes:

But Doug's most exciting creation is his guerilla-engineered nuclear fusion reactor. Doug's pursuit for a limitless source of clean and self-sufficient energy takes place in what he calls his "den of creative chaos," which is essentially a cluttered workshop in the entrance of his home, directly underneath his bedroom


If he ends up succeeding (or helps someone who does with his knowledge), he'll have upended trillion dollar businesses. Pretty awesome.

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The "nuclear fusion reactor" in question was invented in 1964 by Philo T. Farnsworth, the same guy who invented electronic television; it's known everywhere as the Farnsworth Fusor. Many amateur experimenters have built one; I know one personally and have seen his machine operate. It achieves fusion on a microscopic scale by accelerating deuterium ions with high voltage; they collide inside the center electrode and fuse. High losses have prevented such machines from approaching break-even.