Artificial Sun Experiment: CHINA:
China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), also known as the ‘Artificial Sun’ experiment, has set a new record in the latest experiment, where it achieved a plasma temperature of 216 million Fahrenheit (120 million C) for 101 seconds.
- It is believed that the temperature at the core of the Sun is 15 million C, which also means that the temperature produced by (EAST) is nearly seven times that of the Sun.
- It is a significant step in the country’s quest to unlock clean and limitless energy, with minimal waste products.
- The mission mimics the energy generation process of the sun.
- The reactor consists of an advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device located in Hefei, China.
- It is one of three major domestic tokamaks that are presently being operated across the country.
- The EAST project is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility, which will become the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor when it becomes operational in 2035.
- The ITER project includes the contributions of several countries, including India, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and the United States.
- Artificial sun’ EAST replicates the nuclear fusion process carried out by the sun and stars.
- For nuclear fusion to occur, tremendous heat and pressure are applied to hydrogen atoms so that they fuse together.
- The nuclei of deuterium and tritium — both found in hydrogen — are made to fuse together to create a helium nucleus, a neutron along a whole lot of energy.
- Here, fuel is heated to temperatures of over 150 million degrees C so that it forms a hot plasma “soup” of subatomic particles.
- With the help of a strong magnetic field, the plasma is kept away from the walls of the reactor to ensure it does not cool down and lose its potential to generate large amounts of energy. The plasma is confined for long durations for fusion to take place.