China has built an “artificial sun” that reaches temperature six times that of the core of our closest star. The state-of-the-art reactor is designed to replicate the processes of the sun as part of a project to turn hydrogen into cost-effective green energy.
China’s “artificial sun” has reached a temperature of 180 million ºF (100 million C) with a heating power of 10 megawatts, according to scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Plasma Physics, where the experiment was conducted. The device called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) is built to harness the energy of nuclear fusion, the same process that powers stars.
Nuclear fusion reactors work differently to fission reactors because they fuse two nuclei, rather than splitting them. The process promises a vast resource of cheap energy and is far safer than fission, producing almost no dangerous nuclear waste.
Nuclear fusion is arguably the best way for human beings to produce energy. In terms of raw materials, the deuterium and tritium required for nuclear fusion are almost inexhaustible in the ocean. Besides, nuclear fusion does not produce any radioactive waste, so it is extremely environmentally-friendly.
Nuclear fusion needs very high temperature and great pressure and, since the latter cannot be achieved on Earth, this means raising the temperature to, according to current theory, at least 100 million degrees.
A practical fusion reactor must not only be capable of sustaining extreme temperatures but also remain stable at these temperatures for long periods.
China independently designed and constructed the East in 2006. The facility is 11m (36ft) tall, with a diameter of 8m and a weight of 400 tons. The country is the first in the world to design and develop such equipment on its own.
However, there are still plenty of milestones ahead. Creating a reactor that can confine the liquid and scaling the device up to a commercially viable size are among the two biggest obstacles.
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No, Not All of Earth’s Water Came From Asteroids, According To New Research
The belief that water came from asteroids is a “blind spot,” according to these experts.
Contrary to what most scientists would tell you, it looks like not all of our planet's water came from asteroid matetials after all. One recent research in the United States is now challenging that, claiming our science books may have not been entirely accurate all along.
It has always been believed that Earth's water came from asteroids since it was discovered that ocean and asteroidal samples contain similar ratio of deuterium to normal hydrogen. We've mostly been taught this "fact" in school but those science textbooks may have to be rewritten soon enough.
Neanderthals Possibly Went Extinct Because Of Human Interbreeding
This might explain why modern humans still have Neanderthal genes.
Researchers have several different theories on why ancients became extinct. Although some believe that Neanderthals were killed off by humans, a new report suggests it was more complicated than that. It appears that Homo neanderthalensis may have mated with our ancestors, which led to their eventual demise.
According to a new research by German scientists, Neanderthals interbred with early humans on a regular basis. This is evident in the genetic analysis of three different fossilized remains. The remains belonged to a Neanderthal, an early human as well as a modern human. Interestingly, it revealed that interbreeding may have been the true cause of the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis.
Neanderthals possibly mated themselves into extinction.
Smart Kid Invents Amazing Way of Recycling Styrofoam
This kid just solved two global problems with one solution.
Aside from plastic pollution, the world also has a big problem when it comes to styrofoam – those ubiquitous materials often used as disposable coffee cups, coolers, or as protective packaging cushion for appliances and others.
Suffice it to say that styrofoam is considered an environmental hazard since they create a lot of waste. In California, for example, only 1% of styrofoam is being recycyled, according to a Los Angeles Times report.