Chinese scientists kept hydrogen plasma in a stable state for 102 seconds
The natural thermonuclear reactor is our Sun (photo: Wikipedia)
A few days ago, news was published on Geektimes that German scientists managed to get hydrogen plasma in a stellarator. Moreover, in a stable state, the scientists kept the plasma for only a fraction of a second. Today, Chinese scientists have achieved even more impressive results , having advanced far compared with their counterparts from Germany. The Chinese were able to heat the plasma to a temperature of about 50 million degrees, and kept the plasma in a stable state for 102 seconds.
The breakthrough of Chinese scientists is a real step forward in terms of creating an alternative energy source that can supply humanity with the enormous amount of energy that is so necessary for all of us. The experiment was conducted in a thermonuclear reactor installed at the Institute of Physical Sciences in Hefei, the capital of Jiangsu Province.
Photo: Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences
Unlike the Germans, the Chinese work with a tokamak-type reactor, their system is called Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). As mentioned above, the achieved plasma temperature is 50 million degrees, while the temperature in the center of the sun, according to experts, is approximately 15 million degrees. The temperature in the center of a thermonuclear explosion of medium power reaches 50 million degrees.
Before the Chinese, the “temperature record” was set in another experiment , but its duration was a split second, and success was never repeated.
Scientists from Japan and Europe can also heat plasma to 50 million degrees in their reactors. But we are not talking about any long-term preservation of plasma in a stable state - experts are simply afraid that the reactor will melt. As you can see, the Chinese were able to avoid this problem.
And this is what the Chinese reactor looks like inside
To achieve the current record, Chinese scientists "worked day and night," the scientists said in an official statement. And this is truly an achievement, since until now no one has ever kept the plasma in a stable state for more than 20 seconds. The Chinese, they said, were able to solve a number of scientific and engineering problems, including controlling the position of the magnet, as well as trapping high-energy particles that “escaped” from the magnetic “donut,” the field that holds the plasma.
And this is plasma in a German stellarator, photo taken in December
The Chinese plan to achieve more significant results - to heat the plasma to 100 million degrees and keep it in a stable state for about 17 minutes. Before building the commercial reactor model, which will provide energy, there is still a lot of time, years, Chinese experts say.
In Germany, experiments are being carried out on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. Two experiments have already been conducted to obtain helium and hydrogen plasmas. Both experiments were successful.