Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research, or KSTAR, scientists have succeeded in sustaining a plasma gas at 100 million kelvin for up to 20 seconds without experiencing significant instabilities. This result is thought to be a significant step forward in the development of a sustainable nuclear fusion reaction. This result is a major development though a sustainable reactor that produces more energy than it consumes will be a product in the future. A primary problem is maintaining the stability and temperature of plasma – the fourth state of matter made up of unbound ions or charged atoms. The KSTAR operates using a hydrogen plasma confined by a magnetic field. So far scientists have been unable to achieve a sustainable fusion performance, which requires a high temperature above 100 million kelvin and sufficient control of instabilities to ensure steady-state operation in the order of tens of seconds. The KSTAR scientists now […]