China’s Artificial Sun!!


Introduction- China’s “Experiment Advanced superconducting Tokamak” (EAST), which mimics the energy generation process of the sun set a new record recently. The record is that EAST ran at 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degree Celsius) for 101 seconds, and for another 20 seconds, the “artificial sun” also achieved a peak temperature of 288 million degrees Fahrenheit(160 million degrees Celsius), which is over ten times hotter than the Sun.
The aim of this experiment is to unlock clean and limitless energy, with minimal waste products and the ultimate goal should be keeping the temperature at a stable level for a long time.
EAST reactor is an advanced Nuclear fusion Experimental device located at the institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of science (ASIPP) in Hefei, China.

What are the Nuclear Fission and Fusion:-
Nuclear Fission is a reaction wherein a heavy nucleus is bombarded by neutrons and thus becomes unstable, which causes it to decompose .
into two nuclei with equivalent size and magnitude, with a great detachment of energy and the emission of two or three neutrons.

Nuclear Fusion is a process in which one or more light nuclei fuse together to generate a relatively heavier nucleus in which in there is some mass deficiency that is released as energy, and the quantity of energy released. Fusion is naturally happen in stars like Sun.
We are producing energy by the Nuclear fission, but the problem is that it releases a lot of nuclear waste which is harmful for the nature.

Unlike fission, fusion also does not emit greenhouse gases and is considered a safer process with lower risk of accidents. Nuclear fusion could potentially provide unlimited clean energy and very low costs.

How does the “Artificial Sun” EAST work?
The EAST Tokamak device is designed to replicate the nuclear fusion process carried out by the Sun and Stars. Fuel is heated to temperatures of over 150 million degrees C so that it forms a hot plasma “Soup” of subatomic particles. With the help of a strong magnetic field, the plasma is kept away from the walls of the reactor to ensure it does not cool down and lose its potential to generate large amount of energy.
Tokamak is an example of a toroidal plasma confinement system in which the plasma particles are confined to a toroidal region by a magnetic field. The term “tokamak” comes from a Russian acronym that stands for “toroidal chamber with magnetic coils”.
China’s EAST Tokamak is a cylindrical device having height 11 meter, diameter is 8 meter and the weight is 360 ton. In this device firstly they put deuterium & tritium heavy isotopes of hydrogen atom in donut shaped ring in it, after it the isotopes is heated by powerful electric current so electron is apart from the atoms, and it produced hydrogen ions charged plasma. Now the magnetic field is produced by the powerful magnets inside the tokamak, hence the magnetic field confined the charge plasma in a small area, so that the chances of fusing with each other will increase.

Plasma :-Plasma is a special kind of ionized gas and in general consists mostly of positively charged ions and electrons, and a small number of neutral atoms. The ionized gas called Plasma if it is quasi-neutral and exhibits collective behavior. Plasma is a fourth state of matter.

The main difficulty is to maintain high temperature for a long time as like the Sun.
The plasma column, confined entirely by an axial current and associated field, is unstable against pinch-type deformations of the type illustrated , where the column pinches in the magnetic field, the inward pressure is greater than the outward kinetic pressure, where the column bulges out, the inward magnetic pressure is weaker than the outward kinetic pressure. Thus the deformation leads to force imbalances which increase the deformation.

Many of questions arises here, and many peoples asked to me Conclusion :-The EAST project is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility, which will become the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor when it will become operational in 2035. The project includes the contributions of several countries, including India, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States. ITER is a collaboration of 35 nations launched in 1985, located in France. The aim of it is to build the world’s largest tokamak to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large scale and carbon free source of energy.

Mr. Luv Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, School of Basic and Applied Sciences, Career Point University, Kota

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