Chinese scientists talked about another achievement on the way to creating a fusion reactor. According to the South China Morning Post, their “artificial sun” sustained extreme temperatures several times longer than previous devices.
The state news agency Xinhua reported that the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak recorded a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius in 101 seconds. It also maintained a temperature of 160 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds, the report said.
Last year, EAST reached a plasma temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius within 20 seconds. A new experiment showed that Chinese scientists kept the extreme heat up to five times longer. Another Chinese “artificial sun” project in Chengdu, the HL-2M Tokamak apparatus, operated at 150 million degrees Celsius for 10 seconds in an experiment late last year.
These installations were called “artificial sun” because their goal is to reproduce the nuclear fusion reactions that feed the sun, although the temperature of the star is about 15 million degrees Celsius. When two atoms merge, a huge amount of energy is released – scientists wanted to repeat this phenomenon artificially.
Despite progress in this area, fusion reactors are still far from being realized. Song Yongtao, director of the Plasma Physics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, noted that the latest results are a great achievement for the physics and engineering of China. “The success of the experiment lays the foundation for China to build its own nuclear fusion plant,” Yongtao said.