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Infinite Energy: The artificial sun has been controlled for the first time

Infinite Energy: The artificial sun has been controlled for the first time

It has become possible to produce a directed magnetic field structure around a plasma in an experimental tokamak – an inevitable step on the road to practical fusion power plants.

In the field of nuclear fusion, an important technological step has been achieved in the Huanliu-3 (HL-3) cases. By the way, the press usually likes to refer to HL-3 as China's “artificial sun” – which, although it sounds dramatic, is not an exaggeration, since we can basically talk about the same energy production process as in the case of the Sun. Current news reported by Interesting Engineering.

Nuclear fusion is the process that also powers the sun, and its essence is that atomic nuclei combine while energy is released – this is the exact opposite of nuclear fission, which powers today's nuclear reactors, since the latter is based on the separation of atomic energy. Intentions. The advantage of fusion technology is that it can produce much more energy than current technologies, saving up to four million times more energy per kilogram than fossil fuels, while the process does not involve carbon dioxide emissions.

However, the road to practical use is bumpy. The most critical challenge is achieving and maintaining the extremely high temperatures required for fusion, as we are essentially “bringing the sun down to Earth” – but current technologies are not yet able to sustain plasma long enough for a net energy gain. Since fusion requires the energy input needed to maintain these conditions usually exceeds the energy produced.

This is where current progress comes in, made possible by the discovery of advanced magnetic field structure. This controlled magnetic field was achieved for the first time in the world in this tokamak, but we can talk about the fruit of joint international experiments: in the series of experiments that began at the end of 2023, 17 world-leading research institutes and universities participated, including the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Authority. French and Kyoto University, Japan.

The HL-3 Tokamak, designed and developed by China, is the country's largest and most advanced nuclear fusion device. In August 2023, this experimental tokamak reached a milestone by operating with a plasma current of one million amps.

The current breakthrough is particularly important because it enables control of the tokamak's extremely hot plasma, which is essential for achieving permanent nuclear fusion. In other words, the newly discovered magnetic formation is a big step toward realizing practical nuclear fusion energy. This controlled nuclear fusion, as we always say in such news, is considered the holy grail of energy research, and based on the above, not without reason.

(HL-3, source: CNC)

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