Six years after our country power sawed through the reigns of colonization, an extraordinary event occurred. The elite fellows from the country exuded an excited buzz as they bent over their radios listening to the awing reports of fervent journalists. The event was an international affair, something that would be documented in history records. This occurrence would actually wind up being a reason for students in the millennial era to sweat in exam rooms. A member of our species infiltrated a celestial object.
Neil Armstrong shocked the world by actually achieving his goal of landing on the moon in his space shuttle, Apollo 11. Aim for the stars and if you cannot, shoot for the moon seemed possible after this event. It was remarkable, something we will never forget.
Well, five decades later something of a similar structure is about to occur. No, there is no mention of anyone landing on the sun but humans are seeking to build a thing resembling this celestial wonder.
What is it they are building you ask? An artificial sun.
In 2006, China began project “artificial sun”. This device is meant to replicate nuclear fusion. This is the same reaction that powers the sun. This extraordinary device is to be operational within this year according to the researchers in China.
You are probably wondering, how is China going to achieve this? If we can feel the sun scorch in the safety of our homes, how are they planning to contain this obviously searing hot plasma that powers the sun?
Here is how.
A friend of mine once came up with a brilliant idea of inventing a device for the mama mboga to use when chopping up vegetables. The device would be a replacement for the knives, something that they would just stuff in a bunch of vegetable leaves in one end and have chopped pieces come out on the other end. It would be cheaper in terms of efficiency for both the customer and the mama mboga. Well, the same principle can be said about China’s HL-2M Tokamak.
The sun is powered by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei which eventually results into helium. This whole reaction produces a massive amount of energy. Temperatures on the sun are up to 15 million degrees Celsius. So yes, very hot.
Researchers throughout generations have had the same idea of replicating nuclear fusion gnawing at their brains but they couldn’t come up with feasible means of actualizing it. They faced a challenge of conjuring up an affordable way of containing piping hot plasma in one space and keeping it stable enough for fusion to occur. In order to recreate the nuclear fusion on earth, scientists heated fuel and different types of hydrogen to 100 million degrees Celsius. This resulted to an extremely hot plasma which had to be contained. The scientists therefore invented a tokamak, a device used to stabilize the hot plasma so that reactions can occur and energy released. The bridle was that the plasma emitted bursts that had the potential of damaging the reactor wall in the tokamak. China was able to come up with a possible efficient way of achieving their goal.
The HL-2M Tokamak is a part of China’s experimental advanced superconducting Tokamak project which made its debut in 2006. The reason why this particular device is suited for this project is because of its magnetic field’s flexibility. This means that when the device is operating at high power, the scientists manning the device will be able to track it so as to protect its interior from damage due to sudden bursts from plasma reactions. Duan Xuru, head of Southwestern Institute of physics in China, said that the HL-2M Tokamak can reach temperatures of over 200 million degrees Celsius. Which translates to this device being hotter than the reactions in the sun. In fact, the device is 13 times hotter than the core of the sun. Fascinating right?
In June 2019, the coil system of the HL-2M Tokamak was installed and the scientists are saying that everything is running as smoothly as a baby’s behind.
So if this project happens to be successful, what then? If the Chinese scientists manage to confine the piping hot plasma in the tokamak without damaging the reactor wall, what is it are they hoping to achieve?
Why project “artificial sun” is vital
The truth of the matter is that our environment is swiftly deteriorating thanks to the industrial emissions and generally, pollution. Clean, affordable energy is as rare as llamas.
If China is able to achieve this project, the world will be looking at an option of limitless, clean and cheap energy that we could tap into through this nuclear fusion business!
This could be a game changer in terms of environmental conservation. It could save our planet from our own destruction.
So yes, project “artificial sun” has the ability of salvaging our lives. I consider that vital, don’t you?
Also, why would a space shuttle be named after the son of Zeus?
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