China’s Artificial Sun
Artificial Sun sounds like it’s impossible to even think about it. No more China is on its way to create a replica of the sun, with the help of technology that could have never been thought of in the wildest dreams. Well yes, China managed to prove that nothing is impossible and has created an artificial sun of its own which will be known as China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) and it is placed in ASIPP in Hefei, China.
Introduction to EAST
China built and designed EAST in 2006 independently in Hefei. This reactor is 11 metres tall, with a diameter of 8 meters and has a weight of 400 tons. This reactor is named the artificial sun, as it is a replica of the sun and will perform nuclear fission like the sun by using deuterium and tritium, which can be easily extracted from the ocean because of their high amount. The main aim of this reactor is to provide clean energy for humanity.
How does it work?
EAST will be used to mimic the nuclear fusion process done by the sun and stars. Nuclear Fusion is basically used to produce a large amount of energy with a considerable amount of waste. Nuclear Fission is an easier process to produce energy but it releases waste in great quantities. So when the process starts the isotopes of Hydrogen are fused to create a helium nucleus and also a neutron with a lot of energy. Here the fuel is heated up to 150 Million degrees Celsius to form a hot pool of subatomic particles. The plasma is forced to be kept away from the walls because of a strong magnetic force which doesn't let the plasma cool and fail to produce a high amount of energy. By keeping the plasma hot for longer hours, Fusion takes place and the aim of the reactor is achieved.
Recently in an experiment, the plasma temperature of 216 million degrees Fahrenheit also continued for 20 seconds at 288 million degrees Fahrenheit. The sun’s core reaches a maximum of 15 million degrees Celsius, this concludes that this reactor was a success and also was able to touch temperatures 10 times hotter than the sun. As the reactor is still making the scientists have a goal of maintaining high temperatures for a longer period. As the Chinese say this is the future technology and it can also contribute towards China’s green development push.