The race for nuclear fusion has been on for some time and it seems like the tech-giant Google has entered the market in alliance with Tri Alpha Energy for nuclear fusion technology. So what is nuclear fusion? As quoted in nuclear physics, it refers to a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei touch base with one another to form different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles like neutrons and protons.
The process is called fission. Volumes of energy are released in the process, caused by the difference in the mass and between the products and reactants. Nuclear fusion reactors have the potential to supply unlimited energy on Earth. Generating energy fuel using the nuclear fusion process has been a dream in the field of energy production. Since, 1950s, scientists have been attempting to imitate the same process that powers the Sun, where it controls the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium.
The world’s largest private fusion company, Tri Alpha Energy and Google have emanated a new computer algorithm to significantly pace up progress of supplying clean fusion energy and manage energy loss. With a mission to build a commercially modest fusion power plant, the company has developed a sustainable compact technology that is safe, aneutroni and carbon free. In alliance with Google, the “Optometrist” algorithm is said to enhance computation using a combination of human judgement for solving complex problems.
As flashed in media reports, Tri Alpha Energy’s Central confinement chamber: C-2U, performed experiments in the plasma confinement unit consisting of more than 10 K engineering control tags and over 1000 diagnostics channels. The Tri Alpha reactors used “field reversed configuration” that resulted in “a self-stabilized, rotating cylinder of particles held in place by magnetism”. The prime advantage to this technique is that the plasma energy increases, thereby strengthening the magnetic confinement to generate a more stabilized response.
Creation of this magnetic field is a complex process, where the number of variables used is endless. This is where Google pitched in for computational assistance. However, the Accelerated Science Team at Google disclosed that their high scale computer resources too couldn’t handle the computation task, as the ion temperature is manifold times the electron temperature, placing the plasma out of thermal equilibrium. Thus, with “Optometrist Algorithms”, it is said that an “energy-positive fusion reactor” can be constructed in future. The idea of nuclear fusion has intensified over time with the challenge of climate change, where the need of the hour is to cut carbon emissions.
Further to the news on making nuclear fusion a reality, Google says that they are training artificial intelligence to predict the future. Google’s “Deepmind” division which conducts research on AI has been giving its AI algorithms an imagination. The technology will be able to predict how a situation might work in future. In coordination with Google, Tri Alpha Energy seeks to create renewable and clean energy source, with the help of artificial intelligence to speed up the process. Deepmind expressed in a blog “If our algorithms are to develop equally sophisticated behaviours, they too must have the capability to ‘imagine’ and reason about the future.”
The news came after the development of “AlphaGo”, an artificial intelligence machine that defeated some of the world’s eminent Chinese board game players. In an effort to apply modules learnt to real time examples, Google has developed imagination augmented agents, better known as I2As. These are designed with a neural network to excerpt information that might be useful for future decisions. The I2As have the potential to adapt a number of simulated probabilities for a particular job and learn different strategies to approach and conduct the plans. Deepmind tested this on a spaceship navigation game. They have proposed the following step to focus on scaling up ideas to other design agents who can use ingenuities to plan for the future in various settings.
Already $500m had been invested by Paul Allen, former Microsoft co-founder for nuclear fusion and now Google’s handshake to create the advanced algorithm for solving complex problems arising in the process, gives nuclear fusion a boost. Though characterization of the nature of boost resulting from AI use is challenging, the benefits have been recognized to enhance learning and discovery. It has been indicated by the tech giant that gaps and changes could emerge in the structure and data. Thus, the organization has reinforced their constant effort to ensure development of adaptable techniques and algorithms that have the potential to operate with variable and meaningless data.
Article by Rochita.