South Korea’s “Artificial Sun” sets a new world record

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South Korea's “artificial sun
South Korea's “artificial sun

The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research, or KSTAR, is South Korea’s magnetic fusion device, which has set a new world record of successfully managing to light up an artificial sun at over 100 million degrees for a record 20 seconds. This experiment is a milestone in the fusion energy experiment; this fusion device successfully managed such a high temperature, whereas the core of the Sun burns at only 15 million degrees Celsius.
Scientists are experimenting and trying to find new ways to clean and limitless energy sources. As for now, the world has some sources of energy like fuel energy, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy.

These traditional sources have some limitations and are expensive. Harnessing the power of nuclear fusion is a tough riddle to crack. Scientists have been researching this since the early 20th century. In Nuclear fusion reactions, two or more atomic nuclei are combined to form one or more different atomic nuclei. This reaction occurs in the Sun. For this experiment, Hydrogen isotopes must be placed inside a fusion device to create a plasma state where ions and electrons are separated, and ions were heated and maintained at high temperatures. This experiment is a milestone as it is a step towards making nuclear fusion energy a reality.

The KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) is a joint research project with the Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States. The success of the experiment was announced on November 24 (Tuesday).
For the first time In its 2018 experiment, the KSTAR reached the plasma ion temperature of 100 million degrees but could not sustain more than 1.5 seconds. In another experiment in 2019, the time was extended to 8 seconds. This time achieving it for 20 seconds, KSTAR has set a new world record. According to reports, KSTAR is aiming to increase the time and work on a fusion reactor upto 300 seconds mark by 2025, which takes less energy than it produces.