China's EAST machine reaches temperatures six times hotter than the Sun

China's EAST machine reaches temperatures six times hotter than the Sun

China's EAST machine reaches temperatures six times hotter than the Sun

Interestingly, an artificial Sun is the name given to nuclear fusion experiments, and it is not similar to the artificial moon that China is planning to send up to space soon.

What's surprising is that the scientists working there have now claimed to have produced temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius in the simulator - much more than 15 million degrees Celsius temperature of Sun's core.

To put that into perspective, the center of the sun is around 15 million degrees Celsius.

Every nuclear reactor now operating on Earth is a fission reactor - using energy released when heavy atoms such as uranium decay into smaller atoms, a process similar to the one used in the first nuclear weapons.

Nuclear fusion experiments are trying to replicate the energy generating process in the Sun, and to achieve this goal, researchers in China had set up the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor in 2006.

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Associate professor Matthew Hole from the Australian National University told ABC: "It's certainly a significant step for China's nuclear fusion program and an important development for the whole world". Nuclear reactors like EAST are a means to exactly that: an nearly infinite supply of energy that is clean. The fusion reactors would create more power while producing less risky waste.

The high temperatures inside a fusion reactor tear electrons away from their atoms and form a charged plasma of hydrogen ions. The facility is 11 meters tall, with a diameter of 8 meters, and a weight of 400 tons.

According to the Institute of Plasma Physics, the results of EAST's experiments this year will aid in the construction of ITER's tokamak.

A fusion reactor works in the opposite way, harvesting the energy released when two smaller atoms join together, releasing tiny, fast-moving particles smaller than atoms. The project will also provide experimental evidence and scientific support for the country's ongoing China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor project, which is similarly working to develop nuclear fusion.

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