Giving competition to Sun – sounds like a ridiculous notion, right? Well, this is now a reality as South Korea has set up a new world record by managing to light up an “artificial sun” at over 100 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds. In comparison, the core of the Sun burns at only 15 million degrees Celsius.
As per multiple reports, physicists from South Korea used an “artificial sun” which is a superconducting fusion device known as KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research) for the experiment. For the fusion, scientists obtained a plasma (one of the four fundamental states of matter) from hydrogen, composed of hot ions that exceeded the 100 million degrees temperature. To retain the ions, it is necessary to maintain incredibly high temperatures.
The experiment made the world record after the artificial sun’s nuclear fusion reactor started and for 20 seconds maintained an ion temperature over 100 million degrees Celsius.
The new milestone in the field of science was achieved on November 24, by the KSTAR Research Center of the Korean Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) in collaboration with Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the US.
Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research | Image – National Research Council of Science & Technology
KSTAR achieved its first fusion in 2008 and in 2018 the artificial sun reached a temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time, but only managed to keep it running for around 1.5 seconds. Last year the fusion worked for 8 seconds.
It is also worth mentioning that this is not the first time any institute or a research center has tried to light up an “artificial sun” at incredibly higher temperatures. Attempts have been made earlier during which other fusion devices have managed to maintain the temperature at 100 million degrees or higher only for a few seconds.