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Q & A: magnetic levitation of trains

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
necesito realizar la levitacion magnetica de un tren puedes ayudarme (I need to understand the magnetic levitation of a train. Can you help me?)
- leynel altuve (age 17)
caracas venezuela
A:
In the future, maglev trains might be an option as a mode of transportation. In the structure of the track, there is a magnetized coil, called a guideway, that runs along the track and repels the large magnets on the train's undercarriage. This repelling force raises the train to about .39 to 3.93 inches above the guideway. When the train is raised, magnetic fields are created by the power supplied to the coils within the guideway walls; these magnetic fields pull and push the train along the guideway. The electric current is changing in polarity because they are continuously alternating in the coils, and this change in polarity causes the magnetic field in front of the train to pull the train at amazing speeds. Also, the magnetic levitation train can travel without friction because it rests above the guideway, with a layer of air in between, to achieve speeds at 310 miles per hour.

Please see our answer to a related question about track design for magnetically levitated trains with some links to useful and descriptive sites on the web .

Gloria

(published on 10/22/2007)

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