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China's artificial sun

China’s Artificial Sun: A potential source of unlimited energy claimed to be 6 times hotter than actual sun

A new ray of hope, China’s “artificial sun” claiming six-times hotter than the actual sun, can potentially generate unlimited sources of energy.

Since the year 2006, China has been working on an artificial sun- a device that aims to supply unlimited energy using the principle of nuclear fusion. A recent report published states that Chinese scientists are ready to deploy before the end of the year 2020. This massive invention can reach a temperature of 100 million degrees celsius almost 6 times hotter than the core of the actual sun.

A much-needed breakthrough:

The Chinese scientists have been working on this particular source, so they could mimic the power of nuclear fusion. It is well known that Fusion is known to power the sun and the other stars. At the sun’s core, nuclear fusion takes place at a temperature of 15 million degrees. 

The inside of the Tokamak is where the plasma temperature can rise up to 100 million degrees Celsius. (Image: Institute of Plasma Physics/Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Nuclear fusion is the process where two nuclei- parts of an atom fuse together to create one heavy nucleus. The fusion releases huge amounts of energy, which is a common occurrence among stars, including the sun. 

The goal is to kickstart such fusion on earth. However, since it is almost impossible to replicate such high temperatures in the earth, scientists for long have been coming up with ways to ‘bottle’ it, with an aim to capture the electrically charged gas in extremely powerful magnetic fields. 

So far, the closest scientists have achieved is a device named tokamak, where a helical magnetic field is used to contain the plasma. With trying to achieve this magnetic fusion, scientists are technically typing to build an artificial sun on earth. 

What is China up to?

Chinese scientists for years have been building a device called HL-2M Tokamak, which could potentially be the answer to all the nuclear fusion questions. 

“HL-2M will provide researchers with valuable data on the compatibility of high-performance fusion plasmas with approaches to more effectively handle the heat and particles exhausted from the core of the device.” a fusion physicist.

This could potentially bring humanity one step closer to creating a clean unlimited source of energy, by duplicating the reactions happening in the actual core of the sun. With the project being around for years, the Chinese scientists recently hit a milestone of achieving an electron temperature of 100 million degrees Celcius and an ion temperature of 50 million degrees. 

As the next plan, scientists want to bring the ion temperature up to the temperature of the electron. This specifically would be a difficult task given that the ion temperature is usually lower than the electron temperature, but when achieved could potentially generate unlimited amounts of clean energy. 




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