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Energy energy General

The Artificial Sun Is Heating Up: Nuclear Fusion On Earth

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by: Sharai Hoekema
the artificial sun is heating up  nuclear fusion on earth

No, we are not actually trying to create a second sun on the surface of our planet. Although, to be fair, this project of China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak is attempting to do something that comes rather close. To further research in nuclear fusion, the Chinese have used their nuclear reactor to produce temperatures required for realising nuclear fusion on earth.

A sustainable way of realising nuclear fusion

Using the reactor, hydrogen could be heated to temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius, which is sufficient to produce nuclear energy. A huge feat, even if it may sound trivial to some. In fact, a sustainable way of realising nuclear fusion is the key to providing our earth with a seemingly endless supply of clean energy - as nuclear energy is known as a particularly sustainable source of this basic and much needed global resource.

A small caution has to be made; as science is not yet quite ready to actually transform fusion technology in a durable, reliable source of energy. This development, however, would prove to be a major breakthrough in finding a way of harnessing the unlimited nuclear power, much like stars harness their power naturally. 

Heat up Hydrogen

How it works? Well, researchers used this ‘artificial sun’ to heat up hydrogen, until it crossed the threshold of 100 million degrees Celsius - after which it turns into plasma. Such extreme temperatures are a requirement for actually triggering nuclear fusion by letting two so-called nuclei ‘fuse’ to create a heavier nucleus. Through this process, huge amounts of heat and energy are released. To see just how much, look up at the sky at night - see all of those bright spots that we call stars, or even the sun? You are directly staring in the face of nuclear fusion.

The whole ‘nuclear’ addition might make some people feel uneasy. After all, it is quick to trigger memories of disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima. This is, however, something different: nuclear fission, which is the opposite of fusion. Here, the nuclei of atoms split in a fixed chain reaction. While this process also releases huge amounts of energy, it has the unfortunate by-product of radioactive waste. Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is considerably cleaner. 

As such, it is not hard to see why so many scientists are eager to find a way of finding a safe, clean method of nuclear fusion for the benefit of energy generation. This Chinese ‘sun’ might be a step in the right direction, there is still much left to discover and research before it can be implemented as a possible solution for our growing energy needs: not only do we need a sustainable fuel source, the reactors should also be stable for more than just a few seconds, and, also very important, the technology should be suitable for significant scaling up to make an impact on the commercial level. 

So it definitely is time to focus our energy on those questions - and guarantee a virtually limitless supply of energy in the future!

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy

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The Artificial Sun Is Heating Up: Nuclear Fusion On Earth

No, we are not actually trying to create a second sun on the surface of our planet. Although, to be fair, this project of China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak is attempting to do something that comes rather close. To further research in nuclear fusion, the Chinese have used their nuclear reactor to produce temperatures required for realising nuclear fusion on earth. A sustainable way  of realising nuclear fusion Using the reactor, hydrogen could be heated to temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius, which is sufficient to produce nuclear energy. A huge feat, even if it may sound trivial to some. In fact, a sustainable way of realising nuclear fusion is the key to providing our earth with a seemingly endless supply of clean energy - as nuclear energy is known as a particularly sustainable source of this basic and much needed global resource. A small caution has to be made; as science is not yet quite ready to actually transform fusion technology in a durable, reliable source of energy. This development, however, would prove to be a major breakthrough in finding a way of harnessing the unlimited nuclear power, much like stars harness their power naturally.   Heat up Hydrogen How it works? Well, researchers used this ‘artificial sun’ to heat up hydrogen, until it crossed the threshold of 100 million degrees Celsius - after which it turns into plasma. Such extreme temperatures are a requirement for actually triggering nuclear fusion by letting two so-called nuclei ‘fuse’ to create a heavier nucleus. Through this process, huge amounts of heat and energy are released. To see just how much, look up at the sky at night - see all of those bright spots that we call stars, or even the sun? You are directly staring in the face of nuclear fusion. The whole ‘nuclear’ addition might make some people feel uneasy. After all, it is quick to trigger memories of disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima. This is, however, something different: nuclear fission, which is the opposite of fusion. Here, the nuclei of atoms split in a fixed chain reaction. While this process also releases huge amounts of energy, it has the unfortunate by-product of radioactive waste . Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is considerably cleaner.   As such, it is not hard to see why so many scientists are eager to find a way of finding a safe, clean method of nuclear fusion for the benefit of energy generation. This Chinese ‘sun’ might be a step in the right direction, there is still much left to discover and research before it can be implemented as a possible solution for our growing energy needs: not only do we need a sustainable fuel source, the reactors should also be stable for more than just a few seconds, and, also very important, the technology should be suitable for significant scaling up to make an impact on the commercial level.   So it definitely is time to focus our energy on those questions - and guarantee a virtually limitless supply of energy in the future! https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy