CHINA’S “artificial Sun” recently broke the world record as achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million Celsius for 101 seconds and 160 million Celsius for 20 seconds, setting new records in the field of nuclear fusion, media reports said. The experiment was achieved by Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) device, or the “Chinese artificial Sun,” located at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the ‘Global Times’ reported. EAST is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility -- a collaboration of 35 nations, also comprising India. EAST is designed to replicate the nuclear fusion process that occurs naturally in the Sun and stars to provide almost infinite clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion, which is often dubbed the “artificial Sun.”
Previously, the plasma could be maintained up to a temperature of 100 million Celsius for 100 seconds. “The breakthrough is significant progress, and the ultimate goal should be keeping the temperature at a stable level for a long time,” Li Miao, director of the Physics Department of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, was quoted as saying. The next milestone might be to maintain the stability for a week or more, Li added. Achieving a plasma temperature above 100 million Celsius is one of the key challenges to harness nuclear fusion. The temperature at the core of the sun is widely believed to be 15 million degrees Celsius, meaning that the plasma at the device’s core will be seven times hotter than that of the Sun.