China’s “artificial sun” has set a new world record by heating plasma to temperatures five times that of the sun and maintaining it for more than 17 minutes.
According to the Xinhua news agency, the EAST (Experimental Superconducting Tokamak) fusion reactor maintained a temperature of 70 million degrees for 1,056 seconds.
This achievement is another significant step towards creating a source of almost unlimited clean energy.
The EAST reactor was launched in 2006. In 2018, the “Chinese artificial sun” heated the plasma to one hundred million degrees but managed to keep it for 10 seconds.
In May 2021, a new record was set: 120 million degrees and 101 seconds of plasma hold, as well as 160 million degrees and 20 seconds of hold.
A similar result has been achieved at several fusion reactors in recent years. Still, the development of Chinese physicists is significant due to the unusually high temperature created in EAST.
Thermonuclear reactions in the center of the sun are supported, among other things, by the powerful gravity of the star and its colossal size. Incredible temperatures are required to get the desired result in terrestrial conditions. At the same time, it must be maintained long enough for the necessary reactions to occur.