Researchers managed to maintain thermonuclear fusion at the Korean tokamak (KSTAR) for 20 seconds at an ion temperature of more than 100 million degrees.
In nuclear fusion, heavier atoms are formed from lighter atoms. Such processes take place in the cores of stars, where all chemical elements, up to iron, are gradually formed from hydrogen and helium. However, in order to overcome the Coulomb repulsion and force the nuclei to merge, extreme conditions are required.
In the process of combining light atoms, excess energy is released, which exceeds the cost of carrying out these reactions. Therefore, 8 countries are participating in the construction of ITER, and researchers are improving the technology for maintaining fusion to safely meet humanity’s energy needs..
Scientists from the Korea Fusion Energy Institute, together with colleagues from Seoul National University and Columbia University, were able to surpass the previous record by 2.5 times, achieving continuous operation of the installation at a temperature of 100 million degrees for 20 seconds..
Korean tokamak sets new world record for operating time at 100 million degrees
KSTAR researchers will share the results of their experiments with the world at the May IAEA conference on thermonuclear energy. The ultimate goal of the group is to maintain high temperature plasma for 5 minutes.
Recall that recently physicists have also taken the first step towards the development of a thermonuclear space engine..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: National Research Council of Science & Technology, video: KSTAR