China has set a new world record when scientists managed to maintain their nuclear-powered artificial sun functioning for more than 100 seconds at a very high temperature.
According to state media sources, China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) broke a new record in the current experiment, achieving a plasma temperature of 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius) for 101 seconds.
Not only that, but the scientists working on the “artificial sun” also attained a temperature of 288 million degrees Fahrenheit (160 million degrees Celsius) for 20 seconds. The previous record for maintaining plasma temperature for 100 seconds was 180 million degrees Fahrenheit (100 million degrees Celsius).
Scientists replicate Sun’s fusion reaction on Earth with artificial sun
Furthermore, the Tokamak device, which is situated at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Plasma Physics (ASIPP) in Hefei, was created to simulate the nuclear fusion process, which occurs naturally in the sun and stars. The objective of this experiment is to use controlled nuclear fusion to generate endless amounts of clean energy.
“This is a huge step forward, and the eventual aim should be to keep the temperature consistent for a long time,” said Li Miao, director of the physics department at Shenzhen’s Southern University of Science and Technology.
The EAST project is now a part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, which is one of the world’s largest scientific collaboration ever.
Up to 35 countries are now cooperating on a project to control nuclear fission and generate plasma temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, China isn’t the only country that have succeeded in reaching a high plasma temperature. The KSTAR reactor in Korea achieved a record in 2020 by sustaining a plasma temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.