Chinese scientists from the Hefei Institute of Physical Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have managed to lead an artificial sun into emitting radiation at the rate of 50 million °C for 102 seconds. This is the longest known discharge at such a high temperature.
The artificial sun known as the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) produced the ultra–high temperature (UHT) long pulse plasma through controlled thermonuclear fusion. Light and heat from the sun are the result of hydrogen’s two radioactive isotopes– deuterium and tritium. These isotopes release a huge amount of energy during the fusion process and the artificial sun imitates exactly the same.
Nuclear fusion is seen as a source of clean energy and it is one of the most important fusion processes in nature that powers stars. The breakthrough has taken mankind one step closer to transform energy into a stable, sustainable and controllable resource.