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It is easy to understand what is involved by thinking of what can be done with natural magnets: when the north pole of a magnet faces the south pole of another magnet an attraction force is created; in reverse, a magnetic repulsion is obtained by opposing two north poles or two south poles.


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Electro-magnets, according to the intensity of the current and turning on and off at the desired frequency, allow the creation and control of a powerful magnetic force. The invention is described as a machine to transfer bodies at a very high speed from one point to another.

Although it was primarily meant for the transmission of mail and small packages by a carrier, it was easy to imagine its application at a larger scale in trains carrying freight or passengers. Using the forces of magnetic attraction and repulsion, Bachelet explained in detail how to arrange the magnets, with their poles, on a pathway and on the carrier and how to energise them periodically so as to create magnetic fields and allow the carrier to move through these fields.

A first magnetic field is designed to levitate the carrier, which is made of a non-magnetic metal but which hold its own set of magnets that react with the magnetic field of the pathway. Finally, the guidance of the carrier along the pathway can also be controlled using a third magnetic field.

Too far ahead of his time? Bachelet was quite successful as early as with a prototype in an exhibition in London and managed to attract financial support to continue his research until his death in Bachelet was probably too far ahead of his time. Although the patent described details such as how to savae electricity by activating the magnets just before the passage of the train and cut the current after it has passed, it should be recalled that, at that time, the development of electric locomotives functioning on a reliable and powerful source of electricity to propel real commercial freight or passenger trains that would later overcome steam locomotivs had not even begun.

Maglev trains are two-times faster than the proposed bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

In addition, the system required, and still requires nowadays, the construction of a specific network. He was born in St.

Petersburg province. From childhood he was interested in physics. He graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of St. Petersburg University in In the experimental model of a vacuum train was created.

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The inventors of maglev technology - Maglev

A year later he spoke in St. They certainly live up to the billing. Smiles abound inside the sleek train as, with a breathtaking whoosh, it rockets to kilometers per hour in two minutes flat.

Overhead, like a giant scoreboard, an LED blinks out our record-breaking progress till we top kph. Lu plops into a window seat with her shopping bag of thermal underwear from China's famous undergarment maker Three Gun motto: "Cozy and Elastic and gleefully watches scenery flash past like in a Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon. Way faster than I expected. It felt like flying. Indeed, the Maglev is faster than any speeding locomotive precisely because it's as much like a plane as any railroad we've known.

Maglev – the Great Debate

True, the train has no wings, but no wheels or engine, either. Transrapid, the German firm that developed the system, describes the Maglev as "the first fundamental innovation in the field of railway technology since the invention of the railway. Magnets are the attraction.

First, powerful magnets lift the entire train about 10 millimeters above the special track, called a guideway, since it mainly directs the passage of the train. Other magnets provide propulsion, and braking, and the speeds - up to kph in test runs; a good 60 percent faster than the renowned Bullet Trains - are attained largely due to the reduction of friction. Is there a need for such speed? Certainly not on such a short sprint, barely 30 kilometers from the subway in Pudong to the airport.

The Attainable Wonders of Wakandan Transit

And not at the cost, note critics. Still, critics miss the point. And the thrill. The Maglev isn't about getting from point A to B in Pudong.

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Rather, it's the ride, a glorious glide, from the past to the future. And where this new train might take us, not simply San Francisco to Los Angeles, say, in less than two hours, but in a flash, from the mundane motion of nowadays to the hyper-speeds of Tomorrowland. That's the rush I feel stepping aboard Shanghai's sleekly-contoured train, a feeling of futuristic fervor mixed with nostalgia for all those comics and sci-fi novels from boyhood. There is good reason, since the Maglev's technology is actually rather dated.

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German inventors patented the basic system way back before World War II. That's another point of critics. In the ensuing seven decades, magnetic levitation trains haven't moved much closer to reality. A test track in northern German was built nearly 20 years ago, but even the Germans have shied away from launching a commercial magnetic levitation line because of the cost. Later, I join a group of excited old-timers in the countryside, midway to the airport.