Korea's artificial sun can warm up to 100 million degrees for 20 seconds

Fusion may be the solution to the energy needs of human society, but to achieve this we have to have some system capable of simulating what happens in a star: gathering atoms so that other different atoms are generated, emitting energy without leaving residues.

The problem is that to gather atoms and transform them into others it is necessary to have immense pressures, a kind of artificial sun on Earth.

The KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research) is a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun and has set the new world record for maintaining high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature of more than 100 million degrees.

It was November 24 that it was announced that in a joint investigation with Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States, that temperature was reached for so long, more than twice as long as had been achieved to date (it reached 8 seconds on a couple of occasions during 2019). In its 2018 experiment, KSTAR reached the plasma ion temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time for 1.5 seconds.

To do this, they put the hydrogen isotopes in the fusion device to create a plasma state where the ions and electrons separate, and the ions must be heated and maintained at high temperatures.

Director Si-Woo Yoon of the KSTAR Research Center at KFE explained that the technologies required for long 100 million plasma operations are the key to the realization of fusion energy and KSTAR's success in maintaining high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds will be an important turning point in the race to secure technologies for prolonged high-performance plasma operation, a critical component of a commercial nuclear fusion reactor in the future.

Without a doubt, a big step for a much cleaner future in every way.

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