China's 'Artificial Sun' Experimental Fusion Reactor Sets New World Record
Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) based in China has set a new record in the latest experiment. It attained a plasma temperature of 216 million Fahrenheit for 101 seconds. According to state media reports, the scientists working on the "artificial sun" achieved 288 million Fahrenheit for 20 seconds.
Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) situated in Hefei, the Tokamak device reproduces the nuclear fusion process naturally occurring on the Sun and the stars. Various experiments are being carried out to provide unlimited clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion. The previous record of plasma temperature 180 million F for 100 seconds has now been broken, a massive leap towards getting atomic fusion to work.
Li Miao, director of the Southern University of Science and Technology physics department in Shenzhen, said the latest experiments by Chinese scientists are crucial for keeping the temperature at a stable level for a long time.
According to a report in New Atlas, scientists are currently working on a wide variety of devices to trigger these reactions. However, experts said that doughnut-shaped tokamaks, like the EAST, appear to be most promising. The device features a series of magnetic coils designed to hold superheated streams of hydrogen plasma in place for a long time for the reactions to occur.
The Chinese "artificial sun" experiment is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility. This global science project will be the world's largest nuclear fusion reactor when it becomes operational in 2035. As many as 35 countries, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the US, jointly work on the project. To control the nuclear fusion, producing a plasma temperature above 100 million C is an important challenge. It is believed that the temperature at the Sun's core is 15 million C, which also means that the temperature generated by (EAST) is nearly seven points that of the Sun.