Header AD

China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy

Science fiction movies have depicted the possibility of a world that is not dependent on the sun as the primary source of energy. It is probable that this feat can be achieved by creating our very own source of energy with the help of nuclear fusion, all thanks to EAST or Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak.

A fusion reactor present in Hefei, China, can now reach temperatures of up to six times more than that produced by the sun. We must look into the inner workings of this revolutionary experiment.
What is fusion? When two atoms fuse into one another and create a larger atom, a large amount of energy is released. 

These are generally radioactive atoms possessing a positive charge and thus require the introduction of a huge amount of energy to accomplish the process. Stars have this feature as an added advantage because of their massive size. Their intermolecular attraction is exponential and thus, there is a gigantic possibility of two stars to collide and collapse, thereby producing a lot of energy. 

But there is a small bone of contention: our present technology will not be able to recreate that massive amount of pressure.

The other, and possibly the only option at present is fusion at extremely high temperatures. And that is exactly what EAST does. Higher temperatures produce more energy in the atoms and they start vibrating at a higher frequency, thereby moving in faster motions and thus increasing the probability of collision. But it gets balanced pretty quickly due to other factors.

 If the temperature is hotter than optimal, the atoms move too fast and do not collide into each other. On the other hand, if the temperature is colder than optimal, the atoms will not move at all. The optimal temperature is calculated to be 100 million degrees Celsius, which seems to be a lot, and IS more than 6 times hotter than the sun.

There have been very few successful experiments of this kind around the world, the latest being at EAST. It was able to sustain nuclear fusion for 10 seconds, after which it succumbed. It was a breakthrough for EAST because it is a small reactor, but this is not enough to sustain the entire population of the earth. Thus it is not a full-fledged power plant. EAST serves the purpose of a prototype and can help us create a technology that is much more effective.

ITER is the world biggest project concerning fusion technology and 35 countries have invested billions into the construction of such a structure. And it is deemed to produce more energy than it consumes, which will be a first for the planet. But it is worth the expenditure because fusion produces more energy with next to nothing waste when compared to fission. And the best part s that it can run on sea water which is a renewable source.

China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy Reviewed by Joe on May 27, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments