China tests it’s first ‘artificial sun’ and claims it to be five times hotter than the original one
On Dec 30, the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei tested its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) machine, also known as ‘artificial sun,’ in the state of Shanghai. Gong Xianzu, in charge of the experiment, claimed that its temperature reached up to 70 million degrees Celsius for 17 minutes, whereas the Sun burns at 15 million degrees Celsius.
The trial officially began in December 2021, and will end in June of this year. According to the researchers at IPPCAS, the EAST reactor is designed to mimic the natural nuclear fusion process that occurs in the Sun and stars, providing nearly unlimited clean energy. The machine boils hydrogen isotopes into a plasma and then fuses them together to release energy when it reaches incredibly high temperatures. Researchers shared that if they can figure out how to keep this machine going for more than 20 minutes, it might give clean electricity which could prove to be beneficial globally.
One of the EAST operators, Song Yuntao says he is optimistic that they will be able to complete their work on the reactor by 2040, as the design and further construction of the machine could take longer.