Google enters nuclear fusion clean-energy race

Geronimo Vena
Luglio 26, 2017

Working with Google enabled experiment's on Tri Alpha Energy's C2-U machine to progress much faster، with operations that took a month speeded up to just a few hours.

The team achieved a 50% reduction in energy losses from the system and were presented with an increase in total plasma energy. It should also be noted that Tri Alpha Energy is backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Google and a leading nuclear fusion company have developed a new computer algorithm which has significantly speeded up experiments on plasmas، the ultra-hot balls of gas at the heart of the energy technology، according to "The Guardian" newspaper. So, it becomes even more important to combine computer learning approaches with human understanding.

As reported by The Guardian, Ted Baltz of Google Accelerated Science Team says that dealing with nuclear fusion is even beyond the capacity of Google-level resources.

The C2-U machine has now been replaced with a more powerful and sophisticated machine called Norman، after the company's late co-founder Norman Rostoker.

Google enters nuclear fusion clean-energy race

As such, Google Research has created what it calls an "Optometrist" algorithm that provides scientists with "machine settings and the associated outcomes".

Overall, currently, Tri Alpha aims to flawless the plasma generation process before it goes ahead and tries fusing hydrogen and boron to create energy (and helium).

"Results like this might take years to solve without the power of advanced computation،" said Michl Binderbauer، president and chief technology officer at Tri Alpha Energy. It achieved first plasma earlier in July and if experiments on Norman are successful، Tri Alpha Energy will next build a demonstration power generator.

Other research groups involved in the race to develop nuclear fusion technology have also been making headway in their projects. Another reactor which opened in Germany in 2016 uses a stellarator which is created to potentially operate continuously, rather than in pulses as in a tokamak.

With the increasingly risky signals brought by climate change becoming more frequent, scientists are even more determined to find the key to nuclear fusion in order to answer the need for a cleaner, safer, sustainable and unlimited energy for all. Yet, despite over 60 years of research and development, scientists believe it's still a long way off. Can Google's algorithm help pave the way for researchers to get this done sooner?

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