Hotter than the real Sun?: China's 'artificial Sun' sets massive record for plasma fusion
A new record has been set by the Chinese 'artificial sun' or the experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST) fusion energy reactor in Hefei as it ran at 70 million°C) for 1,056 seconds, which is over 17 minutes. The record was apparently achieved on December 30.
Media reports have mentioned that the achieved temperature is almost five times hotter than the real Sun, which hits a temperature of 15 million°C at its core.
Quoting experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinhua reported that the continuous high-temperature plasma operation is the longest time of operation of its kind in the world.
The previous record set by EAST set was in May by running for 101 seconds at a higher temperature of 20 million°C.
It is learned that the aim of EAST is basically to create nuclear fusion like the Sun to provide clean energy after using deuterium abound in the sea.
Gong Xianzu, who is a researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced the development. Xianzu is in charge of the experiment conducted in Hefei.
"We achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds in an experiment in the first half of 2021," said Xianzu, as quoted by Xinhua.
"This time, steady-state plasma operation was sustained for 1,056 seconds at a temperature close to 70 million degrees Celsius, laying a solid scientific and experimental foundation toward the running of a fusion reactor," he added.
Important to note that nuclear fusion power works by colliding heavy hydrogen atoms to form helium. It releases vast amounts of energy.