Young Inventor Seeks Next Einstein Among Mexico's Indigenous People
Latin American Herald Tribune
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January 17, 2015
Cristóbal Miguel García Jaimes, winner of the National Youth Award in 2014, constructed the cheapest particle accelerator in the world. (codigoespagueti.com)
MEXICO CITY – Cristobal Miguel Garcia Jaimes, who just turned 19, says he was driven to build the world’s cheapest particle accelerator by his interest in motivating other indigenous youths in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.
“My region is very troubled, marginalized and forgotten and, in the current situation, students and young people resort to violence,” he told Efe. “I wanted to show that that’s not how it is, that we can achieve peace through science and culture.”
It took Garcia eight months and 23 days to build his “pocket accelerator” on a budget of 1,000 pesos ($69), making it the cheapest such device in the world.
The newest major particle accelerator, Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider, has a diameter of 8.6 kilometers (5.3 miles) and cost $5 billion.
Garcia’s accelerator, he explains, “comprises a source of particles, an acceleration system, an optical electronic system and a target, a fluorescent screen where there’s a blip of light when electrons hit it.”
“My dream is that each high school may have one accelerator encouraging students to explore science and that they can see that accelerators can be something common, an everyday thing,” he said.
Garcia was awarded Mexico’s 2014 National Youth Prize, and he says the honor shows young people that circumstances, “as difficult as they may be, do not determine your future.”
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