Source: The Register
Two companies, Google and Tri Alpha Energy have developed a
new algorithm, which, according to its creators, will help scientists heat up the plasma in a fusion reactor with less energy than it is now. We are talking about a minimal increase in the efficiency of the reactor, it is not possible to speak of any kind of "breakthrough". But this can be called a significant achievement.
Who needs a percentage increase in the efficiency of high-temperature plasma generation? Yes, all the same scientists. The fact is that reactors, where for several decades now specialists have been trying to achieve a self-sustaining fusion of atoms, are extremely expensive. Their operation is also very expensive. Yes, if you achieve the desired result, everything will pay off a thousandfold. But for the time being, the money is just leaving, like water in the sand, there is success, but it’s still far from getting energy with the help of thermonuclear fusion. Therefore, physicists are trying to optimize costs where possible.
Its technology software developers to optimize plasma heating called Optometrist Algorithm. As already mentioned, the algorithm helps to work with the plasma with a slightly higher efficiency than usual. In order to "ignite" the plasma in the reactor, you need a lot of energy, and it costs well, very expensive.
“We simplified the problem and decided to find such plasma states that physicists find interesting, and we don’t want to break the car. This is a vivid example of human and computer work, when working together becomes more productive than one by one, ”says project manager Ted Bolts.
To start the reaction, the hot plasma is introduced into the C-2U fusion reactor (its length is 20 meters) by Tri Alpha Energy. This is a process controlled by magnets.
In order to heat the plasma to a temperature that is necessary for triggering nuclear fusion of chemical elements, a lot of work needs to be done. First of all, it is required to set thousands of parameters, from the simplest ones, such as the voltage in the individual elements of the reactor, to the complex ones, like the magnetic field strength in certain “areas” of the reactor. Thousands of experiments are required to search for an effective plasma state. In order for the synthesis to proceed, it is necessary to heat the plasma strongly, creating a small star inside the reactor.
If you use the algorithm created by Google, then the energy loss during such experiments decreases, and the plasma temperature, on the contrary, increases
. Unfortunately, the report does not have too much technical information. There are almost no sections of code, there is only a description of the algorithm and sequence of actions when using it.But now and then in the report there are such areas
Now the creators of the algorithm have the intention to improve the work of the program in accordance with the results obtained. The team of scientists has already achieved significant success, yet launching atomic fusion in its reactor. This happened in just a few milliseconds, but it did
The developers compare the
principle of operation of their software platform with the “tuning” of the person’s vision by an oculist. The doctor selects lenses that are suitable for a particular patient, and optimize his vision. Sometimes, the optimization is not very significant, but the patient begins to see everything much better. The same with the plasma - the operations are carried out all the same, but they are more accurate, they hit right on target. One of the main achievements that has been achieved is the search for and the commissioning of certain parameters that are optimal for a fusion reactor.
The company Tri Alpha Energy has been working for a long time, and all this time its specialists have been trying to find the very state of plasma in which a thermonuclear reaction can begin. The company two years ago replaced its old installation, having developed an updated system. Now she is undergoing testing, and the algorithm described in this material helps her to test it.
Despite the years the company spent searching for a possible way to quickly and inexpensively light a small star in his laboratory, the work is still ongoing, and no one plans to throw it.
Google's algorithm, in addition to optimizing parameters, also allows you to speed up the calculations that are carried out by specialists of the company. Instead of months, this process now takes only a few hours. In addition, it was possible to achieve a significant reduction in energy costs and to increase the total energy of the plasma. Scientists hope that in a short time, people will be able to receive almost free energy precisely because of thermonuclear fusion. And despite the fact that all this is more like fiction, some states take the early launch of thermonuclear reactors as a given. Among such countries are India and China