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BBC News – Laser fusion test results raise energy hopes: The goal is to harness the power of the largest laser ever built to start "ignition" – effectively a carefully controlled thermonuclear explosion.

It is markedly different from current nuclear power, which operates through splitting atoms – fission – rather than squashing them together in fusion.

Proving that such a lab-based fusion reaction can release more energy than is required to start it – rising above the so-called breakeven point – could herald a new era in large-scale energy production.

Crossposted from Alex Mizell blog. You can comment here or there.
frickin, shark, lasers

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Machine Learning with Quantum Algorithms: A new type of machine, a so-called quantum computer, can help here. Quantum computers take advantage of the laws of quantum physics to provide new computational capabilities. While quantum mechanics has been foundational to the theories of physics for about a hundred years the picture of reality it paints remains enigmatic. This is largely because at the scale of our every day experience quantum effects are vanishingly small and can usually not be observed directly. Consequently, quantum computers astonish us with their abilities. Let’s take unstructured search as an example. Assume I hide a ball in a cabinet with a million drawers. How many drawers do you have to open to find the ball? Sometimes you may get lucky and find the ball in the first few drawers but at other times you have to inspect almost all of them. So on average it will take you 500,000 peeks to find the ball. Now a quantum computer can perform such a search looking only into 1000 drawers.

Crossposted from Alex Mizell blog. You can comment here or there.