Cool, but scary…
China’s bid to become the leader in harnessing energy took a giant leap forward after its nuclear fusion reactor, dubbed an “artificial sun,” managed to run at a temperature of 70 million degrees Celsius for over 17 minutes!
Photo via Metro UK
At that temperature, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) recorded temperatures around just under five times higher than the core of our own sun which recorded 15 million degrees Celsius at the center.
The achievement brings scientists a small yet significant step closer to the creation of a source of near-unlimited clean energy.
According to Live Science, the Chinese experimental nuclear fusion reactor smashed the previous record, set by France’s Tore Supra tokamak in 2003, where plasma in a coiling loop remained at similar temperatures for 390 seconds.
EAST had previously set another record in May 2021 by running for 101 seconds at an unprecedented 120 million degrees Celsius.
Photo via Science Alert
Scientists have been trying to harness the power of nuclear fusion, the process by which stars burn for more than 70 years. By fusing hydrogen atoms to make helium under extremely high pressures and temperatures, so-called main-sequence stars are able to convert matter into light and heat, generating enormous amounts of energy without producing greenhouse gasses or long-lasting radioactive waste.
The concept of using nuclear fusion to produce energy has long been the ultimate aim of scientists researching clean energy production.
In simple terms, the process involves merging or fusing together atomic nuclei, which ends up generating incredible amounts of energy which can be then used to power our gadgets, buildings and vehicles.
Photo via The Independent
What’s amazing about this is that this method requires zero fossil fuels to run, and leaves behind no hazardous waste materials.
However, the main challenge involved in successful nuclear fusion is sustaining temperatures of over 100 million degrees at a stable level long enough to provide energy as per demand.
Well, we hope everything goes well!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat