HomePhysicsChinese tokamak facility achieves 120-million-degree C for 1,056 seconds

Chinese tokamak facility achieves 120-million-degree C for 1,056 seconds

Researchers have announced that they were able to hold 120-million-degree Celsius plasma for 1,056 seconds. This was a new record for holding superheated plasma.

The development of fusion as a power source that could replace coal-fired power plants. The took inspiration from the Sun. As Sun produces light and heat through fusion. Vibrating atoms become excited and their nuclei fuse together when heated. In the Sun, the atoms have hydrogen and when they fuse together, they form helium-4. This is an element lighter than the original four nuclei. The mass difference is emitted as thermal energy. This energy is released from the sun as light and heat.

Scientists have worked hard to replicate the process in facilities like tokamak. In this process small numbers of atoms are heated to very high temperatures using microwaves. This are kept from burning the donut-shaped facility. They have to be contained by holding them in place with magnets. Scientists also lined the perimeter around them with materials. This is how, it sustained very high temperatures, such as carbon.

Tritium and deuterium atoms are heated to very high temperatures in the tokamak. This was up to the point where they start fusing which was 150 million degrees Celsius. But it was just the first step of the process. If we want to produce energy on a continuous basis, fusion reactions have to be self-sustaining. Scientists are trying to produce increasingly long reaction scenarios. Scientists said that, they are on their way to achieve their goals. Last year, they showed a sample of plasma at 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds. They also said that their reactor has been designed to copy the fusion process in the sun. They have called their facility as an “artificial sun.”


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