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U.S. research team creates artificial sun by 2025

Posted October. 16, 2020 07:45,   

Updated October. 16, 2020 07:45


A startup founded by a group of U.S. scientists disclosed an ambitious vision to complete a nuclear fusion reactor by 2025 to produce nuclear fusion energy, which is one of the most promising future energy sources. Their goal is to make it happen 10 years earlier than the ITER project, which is under construction to complete and fully run an artificial sun by 2025 and 2035, respectively.

An MIT-based research team and its spinoff startup Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) on Sept. 29 (local time) published seven research papers in the Journal of Plasma Physics on the construction of SPARC, the world’s first net energy fusion system.

Nuclear fusion occurs when lightweight atomic nuclei turn into heavy ones. Protons that weigh the amount of mass loss during nuclear fusion bounce off with a great deal of heat energy. This is how nuclear fusion energy works.

The sun’s mass and gravity make it possible for it to perform nuclear fusion by producing plasma - a gas of atoms which have some of their orbital electrons removed and their free electrons. Then, what if you emulated the same process on a planet way smaller than the sun, which thus is not able to generate a huge gravitational force? Theoretically, you must make sure that plasma reaches the super-high temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius. What you also need is a superconductive magnet powerful enough to keep super-hot plasma locked in a donut-shaped nuclear fusion system called a tokamak.

Seven groundbreaking research papers written by the MIT research team and CFS include supercomputer-performed simulation results and calculations. They predict that the project will get done and successfully produce nuclear fusion energy by 2025 if their plan materializes to lead to fabrication and construction according to the current timeline.