Opinion Scientists have worked for decades to control nuclear fusion, wherein isotopes of hydrogen fuse to form helium, thereby releasing enormous amounts of energy. The nuclear fusion reaction is the same process that produces the vast energy of the Sun. If achieved, it would provide a near unlimited form of clean energy. The fusion reactions require the isotopes to be confined at temperatures of hundreds of millions of degrees. At these temperatures, the atoms in the fuel are ripped apart, forming a plasma. Very hot plasma is thought to be best confined by magnetic fields. Read more: How scientists are creating plasma hotter than the sun in the quest for limitless clean energy Now, after many years of gradual progress, we are entering an exciting period in attaining fusion by magnetic confinement. The international ITER project in France that will demonstrate the feasibility of using fusion as a large scale power source is now 60 percent complete. ITER is known as the … [Read more...] about Nuclear Fusion: We’ve Discovered a Way to Stabilize Super-hot Plasma
Nuclear fusion in the sun
Tech & ScienceChina has taken a big step forward in the quest for nuclear fusion—an almost unlimited source of clean, cheap energy that would harness power in the same way the Sun does. Scientists with the Chinese Academy of Sciences have announced their ‘artificial sun’—a fusion reactor experiment—has achieved a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius. That’s six times as hot as the center of the actual Sun.Scientists across the world are working to achieve nuclear fusion. Unlike nuclear fission, which splits atoms to create energy, fusion involves joining lighter atomic nuclei to form a heavier nucleus. This reaction produces plasma, which is a state of matter.The major problem with nuclear fusion is the conditions required to create it—extremely high pressures and temperatures of around 150 million degrees Celsius (270 million degrees Fahrenheit). To put that into perspective, the center of the sun is around 15 million degrees … [Read more...] about China’s Artificial Sun Achieves Temperatures of 100 Million Degrees in Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough
(Credit: NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory) NASA has unveiled an incredible image of the Sun "exploding" but fear not – this violent reaction happens on a near constant basis and is nothing to worry about, experts say. The above image, taken on Aug. 10, 2018 of the Sun's magnetic field, is formed from computer models to capture snapshots of the star's violent nuclear fusion reactions and the Sun's magnetic view. "The bright active region right at the central area of the Sun clearly shows a concentration of field lines, as well as the small active region at the Sun's right edge, but to a lesser extent," NASA wrote in a short statement accompanying the photo. "Magnetism drives the dynamic activity near the Sun's surface." NASA'S PARKER SOLAR PROBE IS HEADED TO THE SUN. SO, WHAT'S NEXT? The white lines represent an electromagnetic eruption, stemming from a high-energy interaction between the particles that make up the Sun's magnetic field and its plasma, according to … [Read more...] about NASA shows incredible image of the Sun ‘exploding’
As you roast – or grill – on the beach this summer you may be thinking the sun is hotter than usual. But of course, the sun is just as hot on a chilly winter evening; it doesn’t change. What changes is the heat received per square meter (or square yard if you prefer), which depends on how high the sun is in the sky, which depends on your latitude, the season and the time of day. When the sun is high at noon these summer days the ground gets hot, and that heats up the air, and you swelter. The hot ground radiates heat back up, and on a clear day it would go into space if carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere did not absorb some of it. Then the oceans get a bit warmer, making more water vapor. It’s complicated, but Earth does not have a thermostat like your air-conditioned room, and when it gets hot “positive feedback” can make it hotter still. Seriously. Back to my question: what makes the sun hot? In the 19th century scientists had a … [Read more...] about Science Corner – Why is the sun so hot?
A young volunteer at the Fremont Township Community Garden who is curious about stars asked, "What is the purpose of stars in the universe?" Nature offers so many astounding sights. One of the most awe-inspiring that nearly everyone across the globe can experience is the panorama of gleaming, glittery stars against the ink-black night sky. related advertisement Check it out The Fremont Public Library in Mundelein suggests these titles on stars:• "Older Than the Stars" by Karen C. Fox • "Stars and Constellations" by Nick Hunter • "Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw" by Elaine Scott• "Inside Stars" by Andra Serlin Abramson • "Universe: a Journey into Deep Space" by Mike Goldsmith The greatest visibility of stars in the skies is in locations where man-made light is least present. In the U.S., the Badlands in South Dakota is known for daytime moonscape-like vistas and ink-black nights with bright, starry … [Read more...] about There’s more to stars than dots in the sky