In 1976 John Aristotle Phillips was a 21-year-old student with “scaring results” at the University. However, his professors certainly had to rethink when John, using material from the U.S. government printing office, and the library’s knowledge developed the designs of an atomic bomb.
This device, according to reports of the time, could have razed a quarter of Manhattan to the ground. The boy worked on a device the size of a beach ball for several months. Its goal was to demonstrate how easy it would be for terrorists (or other “super villains”) to create a nuclear bomb using publicly available knowledge.
John Aristotle Phillips’ plans succeeded, so much so that even nuclear scientist Frank Chilton said that he was “pracically guaranteed to work.” His bomb in theory would have worked and it would have been about a third more powerful than the bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II (think that the recent eruption of the Tonga Honga volcano was 500 times more powerful).
The project attracted the attention of the FBI and the CIA, as well as giving the student the highest grade. In fact, the FBI later visited the university and confiscated his research, as well as the model he had built in his room. After this story, which he will have told all his friends, Phillips has become an activist against nuclear proliferation.
By the way, why do nuclear bombs leave the fungus after the explosion?