Science

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

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

Scientists say nuclear fusion, if developed safely, can be a big source of clean energy.

Researchers believe that now their artificial sun is able to heat plasma to the required temperature, they can focus on the next steps along the path to stable nuclear fusion, since this process was only possible at 100 million degrees Celsius.

The news comes after China shocked the science community last month with plans to launch an "artificial moon" bright enough to replace city streetlights by 2020.

The achieved temperature is about seven times more than the interior of the Sun, which is about 15 million degrees Celsius.

The objective of this reactor is to replicate the process that the sun uses to produce energy.

The EAST reactor was built as an "artificial sun", designed to replicate the process by which the sun creates energy, in hopes of unlocking the secrets of how to make nuclear fusion a practical reality here on earth.

Power injection in the experiment exceeded 10MW, and the plasma stored energy was boosted to 300 kJ after the team optimized the coupling of the different heating techniques along with using an advanced plasma control system and theory/simulation prediction. The device is now being hailed as a strong candidate in the search for a nuclear fusion reactor.

In theory, fusion reactors would produce energy by fusing hydrogen atoms into helium.

The high temperatures inside a fusion reactor tear electrons away from their atoms and form a charged plasma of hydrogen ions.

Now being built in southern France with collaboration from 35 nations including China, ITER is set to be the first experimental fusion device to produce net energy, producing 10 times more energy than the power required to run it, according to the project website.

The earth-based solar simulator has reached mind-bending temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius, the research team announced Tuesday.

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

He said that the achievement by EAST will be important to the development of the next major experiment in global nuclear fusion science: the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).



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