Chinese 'artificial sun' just got five times hotter than our sun

China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor has held 70 million degrees Celsius for 1056 seconds.

Published Jan 13, 2022 3:30 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Feb 8 2022 6:40 PM CST
0 minutes & 43 seconds read time

The temperature was achieved in China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) nuclear fusion reactor.

Chinese 'artificial sun' just got five times hotter than our sun 01 | TweakTown.com

The reactor recently achieved a sustained temperature of 70 million degrees Celsius (126 million degrees Fahrenheit), maintaining it for 1,056 seconds, a record-breaking length to maintain superheated plasma. France's Tore Supra tokamak set the previous record in 2003, which contained plasma at similar temperatures for 390 seconds.

In May 2021, the EAST reactor set another record by achieving a temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius (216 million degrees Fahrenheit), holding this temperature for 101 seconds. For comparison, the sun's core reaches temperatures of around 15 million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit), making the reactor's peak temperature achieved so far eight times hotter than the sun.

"We achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds in an experiment in the first half of 2021. This time, steady-state plasma operation was sustained for 1,056 seconds at a temperature close to 70 million degrees Celsius, laying a solid scientific and experimental foundation toward the running of a fusion reactor," said Gong Xianzu, a researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP).

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NEWS SOURCES:space.com, phys.org,

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