Magnetic levitation is the latest in transportation technology and has been the interest of many countries around the world. The idea has been around since 1904 when Robert Goddard, an American Rocket scientist, created a theory that trains could be lifted off the tracks by the use of electromagnetic rails. Many assumptions and ideas were brought about throughout the following years, but it was not until the 1970’s that Japan and Germany showed interest in it and began researching and designing.
The motion of the Maglev train is based purely on magnetism and magnetic fields. This magnetic field is produced by using high-powered electromagnets. By using magnetic fields, the Maglev train can be levitated above its track, or guideway, and propelled forward. Wheels, contact with the track, and moving parts are eliminated on the Maglev train, allowing the Maglev train to essentially move on air without friction.
Maglev can be used for both low and high speed transportation. The low speed Maglev is used for short distance travel. Birmingham, England used this low speed transportation between the years of 1984 and 1995. However, engineers are more interested in creating the high-speed Maglev vehicles. The higher speed vehicle can travel at speeds of nearly 343mph or 552 km/h. Magnetic Levitation mainly uses two different types of suspension, which are Electromagnetic Suspension and Electrodynamic Suspension. However, a third suspension system (Intuctrack) has recently been developed and is in the research and design phase. These suspension systems are what keep the train levitated off the track.Recommend this topic