Scientists Create ‘Artificial Sun,’ Call It Ultimate Breakthrough in ‘Unlimited Clean Energy’

by Shelby Scott

Climate change has begun to have irreversible effects on our planet and that fact has scientists racing the clock to protect both the human race and the natural world from its ultimate destruction. One of the biggest challenges we face in the battle against climate change is clean energy, especially as fossil fuel sources become scarcer and global warming only worsens. These combined factors, then, make one team of scientists’ latest development that much more important, having made the “ultimate breakthrough” in “unlimited clean energy” after developing what they’ve deemed “artificial sun.”

According to the New York Post, a team of Korean physicists from Seoul National University and the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy managed to create artificial sun by creating a nuclear reaction so powerful that its temperatures surpassed that of our sun seven times over. The study aims to mimic the natural reactions we see on the sun, with scientists utilizing nuclear fusion—a process that combines atomic nuclei found in stars through the self-heating of matter in a plasma state.

Specifically, the outlet reports that the team of scientists’ super powerful nuclear reaction achieved temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius for about 30 seconds, their first time doing so. This milestone is also remarkable as our natural sun reaches temperatures of just 15 million degrees.

Yoo Suk-jae, president of the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy, offered his thoughts regarding the team’s remarkable achievement.

“We usually say that fusion energy is a dream energy source – it is almost limitless, with low emission of greenhouse gases and no high-level radioactive waste – [but the latest breakthrough] means fusion is not a dream.”

Scientists Further Developing Capabilities of Artificial Sun

While 30 seconds at 100 million degrees Celsius using nuclear fusion is definitely good news in the world of clean energy, it is, unfortunately, not enough to adopt as a full-time energy replacement—yet. Though the Korean research team’s artificial sun could definitely aid in the battle against climate change and global warming, they need to figure out a way to make this energy source sustainable globally. And a 30-second flare of the artificial sun is not going to do it.

Per the outlet, the same team is aiming to achieve 50 seconds of artificial sun at temperatures surpassing 100 million degrees Celsius by the end of the year. By 2026, they hope to maintain those same stellar temperatures for 300 seconds.

“This is not the end of the story,” said Yoon Si-woo, director of the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research center (KSTAR). Si-Woo continued, “we must move on to 300 seconds – 300 is the minimum time frame to demonstrate steady-state operations, then this plasma can work forever. If we can’t achieve that, we have to do something else.”

So while artificial sun may well be on its way to development, scientists clearly have a long way to go before it’s sustainable around the globe and as a full-time replacement for more traditional energy sources.