China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) just burned three times hotter than the Sun.
China is now one step ahead of the game of creating and maintaining plasma – an extremely hot, ionized hydrogen gas – which scientists hope to continue studying in their ongoing search for a new clean energy source.
Conducted on a magnetic fusion reactor at China’s Institute of Physical Science in Jiangsu, the reaction hoped to reproduce the conditions of nuclear fusion inside the Sun, and it produced roughly the same temperature as a mid-size thermonuclear explosion.
So just how hot was it?
Though this isn’t the hottest temperature ever reached in a lab, it is the longest that the plasma has been sustained.
Chinese scientists were able to maintain the plasma for a record 102 seconds.
At over 3 times the heat of the core of the Sun, the plasma reached temperatures of about 50 million Kelvin, or 90 million Fahrenheit.
And you thought 90 degrees was bad. Though hotter than the Sun, this experiment did not intend to reach record temperatures. Other fusion experiments in the past have reached higher than billions and even trillions of degrees. The core of the Sun is estimated to be around 27,000,000 Fahrenheit.