Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

China's artificial Sun reaches fusion temperatures thrice that of the real Sun

China's artificial Sun reaches fusion temperatures thrice that of the real Sun

As per experts, 100 million degrees Celsius is touted to be the minimum temperature required to trigger self-sustaining nuclear fusion on Earth.

A Chinese nuclear fusion test has reached temperatures six times hotter than the sun.

The news comes soon after China announced its plans to roll out a series of fake moons to illuminate urban streets at night.

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. The tokamak - a type of device that confines hot plasma by using magnetic fields to prevent it from touching and melting its container - is a strong contender in the scientific search for a practical fusion reactor.

One way of achieving this on Earth is by using what's known as a tokamak, a device created to replicate the nuclear fusion process that occurs naturally in the Sun and stars to generate energy.

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

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. The facility is 11 meters tall, with a diameter of 8 meters, and a weight of 400 tons. Besides, nuclear fusion does not produce any radioactive waste, so it is extremely environmentally friendly.

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.

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

The earth-based solar simulator has reached mind-bending temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius, the research team announced Tuesday. With the help of Tokamak devices like EAST, this might be possible.

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