Chinese ‘Artificial Sun’ Melts New Fusion World Record
China has a different sun from the rest of the world – different, in that it was built and tested to a record-breaking temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) – a custom-built magnetic fusion reactor in Hefei, China – turned up the heat, and maintained it for just over 100 seconds. For another 20 seconds, it was easily ten times hotter than the surface of the sun, which is over 15 million degrees Celsius.
It achieved this feat through an ingenious design: EAST is built in a doughnut shape with an almost spherical tokamak – a device that uses powerful magnetic fields to confine the fourth state substance, plasma, into an observable shape inside the containment field.
The incredible technology has proven to be a significant milestone in unlocking clean and limitless energy, as the demonstrated process is a necessary component in the production of hydrogen power, an abundant, clean-burning fuel source.
The project was jointly constructed by China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA.
The breakthrough is promising for advances in plasma technology, and for producing a carbon-neutral energy future.