May 30, 2023

Data science meets fusion (VIDEO)


LLNL’s historic fusion ignition achievement on December 5, 2022, was the first experiment to ever achieve net energy gain from nuclear fusion. However, the experiment’s result was not actually that surprising. A team leveraging data science techniques developed and used a landmark system for teaching artificial intelligence (AI) to incorporate and better account for different variables and experimental scenarios, creating specific parameters for simulations leading up to the successful experiment. In a new video, LLNL researchers Jayaraman Thiagarajan, Kelli Humbird, and Luc Peterson explain how machine learning (ML) and AI models help advance scientific discovery, how the process of cognitive simulation (CogSim) predicted the successful fusion ignition shot, and the future of this predictive technology. The video includes a softball animation that acts as a metaphor for the comparative sophistication of AI, ML, and CogSim. Watch on YouTube.