A 12-year-old kid from Tennessee created a nuclear reaction in his family’s playroom in January 2018, according The Guardian. That makes him the youngest known person to have done so.
The Open Source Fusor Research Consortium (a group of nuclear hobbyists) recognized Jackson Oswalt’s achievement on Feb. 2, according to a report by commercial appeal, a USA Today affiliate. Oswalt, now 14, built a machine that generates a plasma in which nuclear fusion occurs — not splitting an atom, but rather crushing atoms together to form heavier atoms.
So to answer the obvious question: Yes, nuclear reactions are things you can do at home. Live Science has reported previously on nuclear startups that have gotten going as hobbyist projects. And there are more people who make fusion purely for the fun of it.