Google in hot race for nuclear fusion technology

Google has entered the race for nuclear fusion technology with a US firm. The search engine giant and Tri Alpha Energy, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, have developed a […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Google has entered the race for nuclear fusion technology with a US firm.

The search engine giant and Tri Alpha Energy, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, have developed a new computer algorithm which has helped speed up experiments on plasmas – which are ultra-hot balls of gas.

Nuclear fusion, which generates huge amounts of energy when atoms are fused together at incredibly high temperatures, is believed to be one of the most promising sources of clean energy.

The two firms have developed what they call the ‘Optometrist Algorithm’, which helps solve “highly complex problems regarding plasma behaviour”.

They state it requires researchers to “choose between successive pairs of possible outcomes identified within the experiment to focus on those producing subjectively better results for fusion experiments”.

The team achieved a 50% reduction in energy losses and a resulting increase in total plasma energy.

Michl Binderbauer, TAE’s President and Chief Technology Officer said: “This research, years in the making, has already allowed us to advance our science and I am grateful for the longstanding collaboration with Google as it illustrates how, with a lean start-up design, TAE can direct research to outcomes that specifically advance and accelerate our mission to generate clean, safe and abundant energy through fusion technology.”