Chinese fusion reactor “Artificial Sun” has just set a world record

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Is it hot in here, or is it just the fusion reactor?

China broke a record with its Advanced Tokamak Superconducting Experimental Fusion Reactor (EAST) on Friday, as it maintained a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds, according to Global Times. The reactor was also able to maintain a temperature of 160 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.

For the perspective, the core of the Sun of our galaxy reaches “only” about 15 million degrees Celsius, according to Space.com. So for a while, EAST got over 10 times hotter than that.

This marks an important milestone for the EAST reactor, nicknamed the “Artificial Sun” for its ability to mimic the natural process of nuclear fusion in stars. It can help unravel the mystery of creating sustainable and reliable sources of energy.

“The breakthrough is significant progress, and the ultimate goal should be to keep the temperature at a stable level for a long time,” said Li Miao, director of the physics department at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. at Global Times.

His most recent achievement is particularly impressive considering the fact that the EAST reactor had previously achieved a record temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius in 2018. Now he’s broken that number and more.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Energy Economics Research Center at Xiamen University, told reporters Global Times that nuclear fusion ultimately represents the future of clean energy – although he pointed out that it will likely be decades before a functioning reactor emerges from the experimental stages.

“It looks more like future technology which is essential for China’s green development push,” Boqiang told the Global Times.

Regardless of when fusion reactors finally move beyond experiments, this development is still incredibly exciting – and represents just another big step forward to make. unlimited clean energy a reality.

READ MORE: China keeps ‘artificial sun’ at 120 million degrees Celsius for more than 100 seconds, setting new world record [Global Times]

Learn more about EAST: China: the new “artificial sun” will be completed this year

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