China’s ‘man-made sun’ sees ground-breaking progress

Beijing, Feb 5 (IANS) A team of Chinese scientists in Hefei, capital city of east Anhui province, has made an unprecedented breakthrough on an energy generation device that will bring it one step closer to transforming energy into stable, sustainable and controllable resources.

Towards the end of January, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion device, nicknamed “artificial sun”, made a 102-second-long pulse plasma discharge at a central electron temperature of 50 million degrees-plus, the People’s Daily reported on Friday.

This is the longest plasma discharge time recorded in all the Tokamak fusion devices in the world.

Led by the Chinese scientists at the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Heifei, the EAST fusion device has brought it one step closer to the goal of 1,000-second-long pulse plasma discharge at a central electron temperature of 100 million degrees-plus.

The name “artificial sun” was given because the aim of the device is to generate energy like the sun.

Under high pressure and high temperature, fusion reactions will take place from inside to outside of the “artificial sun”. Such fusion reactions will give rise to a great deal of energy to enable the “artificial sun” continuously emit light and heat.

However, fusion reactions on the Sun are uncontrollable and destructive, just like h-bomb explosion seen on the earth. EAST serves to transform such energy into a stable, sustainable and controllable resource.

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