A Chinese nuclear fusion test has reached temperatures six times hotter than the sun.
Researchers from China’s Hefei Institutes of Physical Sciences said the ‘artificial sun’ has become the hottest known nuclear fusion experiment on Earth, at 100 million degrees Celsius.
The actual Sun at the centre of the solar system is only about 15 million degrees Celsius in comparison.
The milestone has an important significance for nuclear energy researchers, as it is thought to be the minimum temperature needed to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor was originally set up in 2006 and falls into the ‘Tokamak’ category – this is a reactor design that generates powerful magnetic forces to contain hot plasma during the continuous splitting of atoms.
Scientists believe successful nuclear fusion would provide an almost ‘infinite supply’ of clean energy.