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Friction in Maglev trains

  1. Jan 21, 2015 #1
    Hi there, first poster here.

    Something has been boggling me and I cannot seem to find the answer anywhere. I really hope that you will help me =)

    A magnet train in vacuum has no friction whatsoever, right?

    Then what about electron interactions between the 'rail' and the train itself due to the gravitational force?
    I understand that if it was in space the train with would be in a perpetual motion and it would never stop. But if it's affected by gravity, why would it not move infinately? Is there some electron interactions between the rail and the train, or is it completely frictionsless?

    Maybe I'm asking the wrong question, but if you would help me I'd really appreciate it!

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2015 #2


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  4. Jan 21, 2015 #3


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    It still has some friction from inhomogeneous magnetic fields as they can act like an eddy current brake.

    Gravity gives a very homogeneous potential, and no friction involved.
  5. Feb 15, 2017 #4
    Considering we cannot make an absolute vacuum on Earth, there would still be some air resistance as well.
  6. Feb 15, 2017 #5


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  7. Feb 15, 2017 #6
    Wouldn't be very good as a passenger service though
  8. Feb 16, 2017 #7


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    A vacuum tube for a train would not get the best vacuum we can make, that would be way too expensive. But we can make a vacuum so good that friction with the remaining gas atoms becomes completely negligible.
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