Google would have developed an algorithm that is trying to keep the plasma in fusion. The goal is to produce electricity for the largest number of people from nuclear fusion.
Google wants to participate in its own way in research on this energy in parallel to international projects, such as the ITER program which concerns 35 countries and which has already cost 22 billion dollars.
Nuclear fusion is the ability to contain gas in a containment chamber and heat it. Plasma appears then with the help of an electric field. The nuclei and electrons will circulate and collide. A core of heavy helium forms and releases a neutron.
For the moment, we do not know how to keep this plasma in fusion. In addition, the temperature reaches several million degrees and this can quickly turn into a disaster. Not to mention the energy consumption that explodes. It is therefore necessary to be able to carry on the fusion for a sufficient duration and with a sufficiently high power. Until then, the record is a few hundred seconds.
Google, with its start-up Tri Alpha Energy, would like to be able to merge protons with cores of borons. A colossal machine called C-2U was built to already confine the gas.
They believe they will be able to stabilize it and produce electricity within 10 years.
Their algorithm is called “Optometrist“, it can calculate all possible configurations. The researchers will then eliminate the possibilities by testing them one after the other. At the moment, Google would have managed to reduce energy losses by about 50% and thus increase plasma energy. They posted their results in Scientific Reports. They will soon replace C-2U by a machine with greater capacities and which can even heat the plasma. If it works, the next step will be building a demonstration reactor.
While ITER is expected to reach this stage only in 2040.
Nuclear fusion is possibly a cleaner and safer source of energy for the planet. And the replacement of old nuclear fission power plants.