Short Bytes: Google is partnering with a nuclear fusion company named Tri Alpha Energy. Together, they’ve developed a computer algorithm to speed up the fusion research process and improve plasma generation. While they are yet to achieve any breakthrough, they’ve achieved a 50% reduction in energy losses. It should also be noted that Tri Alpha Energy is backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Just in case you were getting disheartened by the fact that Google hasn’t revealed any exciting moonshot projects in the recent time, I have got a great news for you. Not exactly a moonshot, Google is partnering with a leading nuclear fusion company to work on this clean energy technology.
By partnering with the fusion company Tri Alpha Energy, Google has created a computer algorithm to speed up experiments on plasma, which is the key ingredient in this technology. For those who don’t know, Tri Alpha Energy is backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and it has raised $500 million in investment.
The algorithm which has been developed as a result of this partnership is called Optometrist algorithm. It aims to combine high-powered computation with human judgement for finding novel and improved solutions to complex problems.
In the video shown below, you can see how plasma is generated more efficiently:
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. So, it becomes even more important to combine computer learning approaches with human understanding.
With the help of Google, Tri Alpha Energy’s C2-U machine has shown faster progress. The operations that took a month were shrunk to a few hours. The combined effort also achieved a 50% reduction in energy losses.
The company has now replaced C2-U machine with a more powerful machine named Norman, which achieved its first plasma in July.
Overall, currently, Tri Alpha aims to perfect the plasma generation process before it goes ahead and tries fusing hydrogen and boron to create energy (and helium).