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Lonnie Johnson

Nuclear engineer and inventor

Johnson Research and Development, Atlanta, Ga.

Lonnie Johnson is best known as the rocket scientist who invented a toy—the Super Soaker® Water Gun—and he has more than 100 patents in his name. In Fast Forward, you can see Johnson's first prototype for the Super Soaker, made from a used water bottle, some plastic tubing and duct tape. With his start-up companies, Excellatron Solid State and Johnson Electro-Mechanical Systems, Johnson is now developing thin film batteries for cell phones and aerospace applications.