China builds an "artificial sun" that can reach a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius
Last month, we announced that a team of scientists in Chengdu, China, had developed an "artificial moon", eight times brighter than the natural moon that replaced street lights in 2020.
Now a team at Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that the experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST) reactor hit a new temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius.
EAST was called the "artificial sun" because it replicates the process used by the sun to produce energy. It evaporates at 100 million degrees Celsius, which is more than six times warmer than the sun's core. The core temperature of the real sun is around 15 million degrees Celsius. The state-of-the-art reactor is designed to convert hydrogen to cost-effective green energy.
"Scientists have performed experiments with plasma balance and instability, shutdown and transport, plasma plasma interactions and energy particle physics to demonstrate a long-term H-mode operation in equilibrium with good dirt control, core-to-edge MHD stability, ITER waveguide exhaust, "the institute wrote in its article on the announcement.
Our sun creates light and heat energy through a process called nuclear fusion when the two hydrogen nuclei connect and produce a huge amount of energy. Scientists believe that nuclear fusion occurs at 100 million degrees Celsius. However, since these two hydrogen nuclei usually resist each other, they require enormous temperatures to overcome opposing forces.
Therefore, achieving more than 100 million degrees Celsius is an important step, as this is the minimum temperature required to create conditions suitable for nuclear fusion on Earth.
The goal of EAST is to understand the process of nuclear fusion before building a full reactor and using it as an alternative energy source on Earth in the future. This process promises greater power and is much safer than fission, which produces almost no hazardous nuclear waste.
"Nuclear fusion is probably the best way to get people in. The raw materials, deuterium and tritium, which are needed for fusion, are almost inexhaustible in the ocean, and nuclear fusion does not produce any radioactive waste, so it is extremely environmentally friendly environment, "the researchers said in a recent statement.
Matthew Hole, a professor at the Australian National University, told ABC News that success was an important step in the science of nuclear fusion and could be a solution to global energy problems.
"It is certainly a significant step for the Chinese fusion program and important developments for the whole world," Dr. Hole.
"The advantage is simple because it is a very large basic load [continuous] energy production, with zero greenhouse gas emissions and no long-term radioactive waste.
The EAST Task Force stated that it has achieved this milestone through the use of various new methods of heating and plasma management; However, they were able to keep the recording temperature for only about 10 seconds.
Dr. Hole also adds that fusion reactors are avoiding the risks associated with existing nuclear fission reactors, which can be adapted to dangerous weapons and are susceptible to possible disasters with catastrophic consequences.
The artificial sun was designed and built in China as early as 2006. EAST is 11 meters tall, has an average of 8 meters and weighs 400 tons. According to China Daily, China will become the first country to design and develop such a device.