China's artificial sun reaches 100 million degrees

China's 'Artificial Sun' Marks Breakthrough for Nuclear Fusion

Chinese fusion experiment generates an electron temperature of over 100 million degrees

The Institute of Plasma Physics, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said it has been testing an "artificial sun", known as the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST).

In an earlier experiment from 2016, EAST maintained a plasma temperature of almost 50 million degrees Celsius for 102 seconds before the fusion chamber melted. Created to replicate the process our Sun uses to generate energy, researchers set up the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor in 2006.

Matthew Hole, a professor at the Australian National University, told ABC that the breakthrough will form an important contribution to the next major global experiment in nuclear fusion: the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is under construction in southern France and is expected to begin operations in 2025.

Every nuclear reactor now operating on Earth is a fission reactor - using energy released when heavy atoms such as uranium decay into smaller atoms, a process similar to the one used in the first nuclear weapons.

One way of doing this is to inject plasma into a reactor and hold it in place with magnetic fields; tokamaks like EAST do this using the fields generated by the moving plasma itself.

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Well with ground breaking records, EAST and WEST are likely to help mankind to light up a Sun at night too.

The EAST that pulled off the 100 million Celsius feat stands at 11 metres tall, has a diameter of 8 metres and weighs about 360 tonnes.

Nuclear fusion promises Humans to give them clean energy as it does not produce any radioactive waste. It is this plasma that led EAST to heat to such a high temperature.

However, 100 million degrees Celsius is said to be the minimum temperature required for self-sustaining nuclear fusion on Earth, making the task tougher for the research team but not impossible.

The massive amount of pressure inside the Sun forces tritium and deuterium isotopes (atomic variations of hydrogen) to fuse together, releasing tremendous amounts of energy. The project will also provide experimental evidence and scientific support for the country's ongoing China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor project, which is similarly working to develop nuclear fusion.

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