China makes artificial sun BREAKTHROUGH in step towards limitless energy

Institute of Plasma Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences

Institute of Plasma Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences

That is about six times as hot as our actual sun, which burns at a mere 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

In theory, nuclear fusion reactors could produce huge amounts of environmentally friendly energy by fusing hydrogen atoms into helium, similar to the reactions at the core of sun. Nuclear fusion is a staggering technical innovation in which hydrogen from sea water and readily available lithium is heated to more than 150 million°C. Experiments on plasma equilibrium and instability along with confinement and transport, plasma-wall interaction, and energetic particle physics were demonstrated. Apart from being remarkably hot, EAST plasma temperature is also important because it is the minimum temperature scientists believe is required for producing a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reach on Earth. To put that into perspective, the center of the sun is around 15 million degrees Celsius.

A fusion reactor works in the opposite way, harvesting the energy released when two smaller atoms join together, releasing tiny, fast-moving particles smaller than atoms.

As per reports, China's Hefei Institutes of Physical Sciences is working on an earth-based sun simulator which basically is a fusion reactor. With the help of Tokamak devices like EAST, this might be possible. Last year, they said they had managed to suspend plasma in a stable state for over 100 seconds-a world record for this achievement. 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. They said this is one of the fundamental elements of fusion, so reaching this milestone is a major success in working towards this source of power. However, they need to handle that much of high temperature for extended period of time to make it a practical source of energy. These challenges include building a reactor that can confine and suspend the plasma, and then scaling this expensive equipment up to the point where it would become commercially viable.