China is building an "artificial sun" that can reach a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius
Last month, we reported that a team of scientists from Chengdu Aeronautical Scientific and Technological Microelectronic Research Co. (CASC) in China developed an "artificial moon", eight times brighter than the natural moon, to replace street lamps in the country 2020.
The team at the Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that its experimental, advanced superconductor tokamak (EAST) has reached a new temperature of up to 100 million degrees Celsius.
EAST has been called the "artificial sun" because it replicates the process the Sun uses to generate energy. It burns at a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius, more than six times more than the core of the sun. The temperature of the actual core of the Sun is about 15 million degrees Celsius. The state-of-the-art reactor is designed to convert hydrogen into cost-effective green energy.
"Researchers conducted experiments on plasma imbalance and instability, limitation and transport, plasma-wall interaction and particle physics to demonstrate long-term H-mode operation with good pollution control, MHD core / edge stability, exhaust heat with ITER-like tungsten divertor ", wrote the institute in its advertising article.
Our sun produces energy of light and heat in a process called nuclear fusion, when two hydrogen nuclei combine to form a huge amount of energy. Scientists are convinced that nuclear fusion occurs at a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius. However, because these two hydrogen nuclei normally resist, it requires enormous temperatures to overcome the opposite forces.
Hence, the achievement of over 100 million degrees Celsius is an important step because it is the minimum temperature required to create conditions suitable for fusion on Earth.
The aim of EAST is to understand the fusion process before building a full reactor and to use it as an alternative source of energy on Earth in the future. This process promises more power and is much safer than fission, producing almost no hazardous nuclear waste.
"Nuclear fusion is probably the best way to raise energy by people." As for the raw materials, deuterium and tritium required for nuclear fusion, they are almost inexhaustible in the ocean, and nuclear fusion does not produce any radioactive waste, which is why it is extremely environmentally friendly, "they said scientists in a recent statement.
Matthew Hole, associate professor at Australian National University, told ABC News that achievement is an important step in the science of nuclear fusion and can be a solution to global energy problems.
"This is certainly a significant step in the Chinese fusion program and important development for the whole world," said Dr. Hole.
"The benefits are simple because they are a large-scale burden [continuous] energy production with zero greenhouse gas emissions and no long-acting radioactive waste.
The research group responsible for EAST claims that it has reached this milestone by using different new methods in heating and controlling the plasma; however, they were able to maintain a record temperature for about 10 seconds.
Dr Hole also adds that fusion reactors avoid the risks associated with current nuclear reactors that can be modified into a dangerous weapon and that are susceptible to possible melting with catastrophic consequences.
The artificial sun was designed and built by China in 2006. EAST is 11 meters high, 8 meters in diameter and weighs 400 tons. According to China Daily, China is becoming the first country to design and develop such equipment.