South Korean scientists have been creating artificial suns for many years. Recently, they broke a new world record. They experimented with the superconducting nuclear fusion device KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research), also called the Korean Artificial Sun. They set a new record by maintaining high-temperature plasma for 20 second while keeping the ion temperature at 100 million degrees.
This is to put it in perspective. According NASA, the temperature at which our sun shines according to its data (never a straight answer as some claim), is 27 million degrees. It is possible that the artificial sun being made in South Korea may be four times as hot than our own sun. This could lead to many questions or conclusions. One question is whether the sun was created intentionally. It is possible to argue that the sun was not created intentionally, especially if it has a nearly four-fold greater heat capacity.
To create this project, three groups worked together. Korea Institute of Fusion Energy is a joint venture between Columbia University and Seoul National University. The previous record was set last year during the KSTAR Plasma Campaign, which saw an 8 second operation. In 2018, for the first-time, the artificial sun was able maintain an ion temp of 100 million degrees. It only lasted for 1.5 seconds. This is quite a distance from the 20 seconds.
Artificial Sun Lab, South Korea
Researchers have also recreated the fusion processes that took place on the moon. This was possible thanks to hydrogen isotopes placed within the KSTAR. These created a plasma state in the KSTAR where ions and electrons could be separated. The plasma state was then heated up to high temperatures. KSTAR isn’t the only device that can create these reactions.
However, it is important to note that no previous fusion device has lasted longer than 10 seconds. KSTAR has set a new record by surviving for 20 seconds. Si-Woo Yoon is Director of KSTAR Research Center. He says, “The technologies needed for long operations of 100million-plasm are the key for the realization of Fusion Energy.”
“KSTAR’s achievement in maintaining high temperature plasma for 20 seconds will be an important turning-point in the race to secure technologies for the long, high-performance Plasma operation, which is a crucial component of a commercial nuclear-fusion reactor in future.” KSTAR’s researchers are working to achieve continuous operation of the fusion reaction for 300 seconds (5 minutes each) at an ion temperature higher than 100 million degrees. This is the goal.
Columbia University Dr. Young Seok Park stated, “We are humbled to be involved in such a significant achievement in KSTAR.” The 100 million-degree core plasma heating temperature achieved by allowing efficient core Plasma Heating for so long revealed the superconducting KSTAR devices’ unique capacity. It will be recognized as a compelling platform for high performance, steady-state Fusion Plasmas.
Our cosmos is dependent on the sun for its vital functions. It is responsible for maintaining life on many levels. The sun’s light photons enter our eyes and influence our mood, energy, sleep patterns, and energy levels. Plants use the sun to photosynthesis, which is a process that allows for growth and evolution. These plants are essential for our survival.
This begs the question: Where does this man-made sunlight lead? Is there a commercial or human use for a man-made solar? It can be used to preserve life. Is it possible to weaponize it?