China’s experiment with an ‘Artificial Sun,’ also known as the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak – EAST, breaks the world record. The fusion reactor ran without interruption for nearly 20 minutes at an impressive 70 million degrees Celsius.
What is the ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST that broke the world record?
In the 1950s Soviet physicists, Igor Tamm and Andrei Sakharov conceptualized the Tokamak – a device at the heart of other fusion reactors and EAST.
The ‘Artificial Sun’ that broke the world record design mimics the natural processes occurring in the stars and our Sun. China says this process could provide almost infinite clean energy.
The ‘Artificial Sun’ uses fission and fusion, which are nuclear processes, to generate large amounts of heat. When hydrogen atoms are run through high pressure and heat until they fuse together, fusion occurs.
Fusion forms a heavier element by joining two light elements with low atomic mass numbers.
Fission is the process of reducing high atomic mass numbers into fragments.
How is the ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST that broke the world record beneficial for the world?
The ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST experiment that broke the world record took place in the capital of east China’s Anhui Province, Hefei. Gong Xianzu announced the breakthrough success on Friday. Xianzu is a researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and he led the experiment under his command.
The reactor’s large amounts of heat and power gave it the name ‘Artificial Sun.’ EAST broke the world record by running successfully at 70 million degrees Celsius for 1056 seconds.
The ‘Artificial Sun’ will reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide from power generating sectors. The fusion reactor will replace greenhouse emitting gases such as coal and gas.
The ‘Artificial Sun’ strives to tackle climate change shortly and provide infinite clean energy.
Why did the ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST break the world record?
As quoted by Xinhua, Xianzu said, “We have achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds in an experiment in the first half of 2021.”
The Tokamak uses a strong magnetic field to confine hydrogen isotopes into a spherical shape. Ionized gas occurs when the superheated plasma tears away the electrons from the atoms. This plasma then produces fusion.
The ‘Artificial Sun’ that broke the world record hit 70 million degrees, making it five times hotter than our Sun. The natural Sun’s temperature at its core is 15 million Celsius.
When did the ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST experiment that broke the world record begin?
The inception of the ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST began in 2006 in smaller versions of the reactor. China, built and designed EAST that broke the world record, went through several nuclear fusion experiments since 2006.
Scientists worldwide have performed various fusion-relation experiments and recently hit a significant milestone.
Gong Xianzu says, “The recent operation lays a solid scientific and experimental foundation towards the running of a fusion reactor.”
The ‘Artificial Sun’ EAST broke the world record and set new goals for scientists globally. EAST will go through ongoing experiments as raw materials are unlimited on earth.