1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Maglev experiments and questions that could be answered

  1. Apr 7, 2017 #1
    Hey all,

    I have a group project for a Physics II course and the group I ended up with is wanting to do maglev as the focus of our project. I thought the girl that decided to do the maglev project had an idea of what questions she wanted to answer and experiments to perform based on her time in Japan and riding the maglev trains. This is not the case. I'm now scrambling to try to figure out what kind of questions could be answered with a general maglev experiment without the electro side nor super conductors. (Have the equipment to use super conductors but might be too beyond the scope of this class.)

    Maybe my brain is fried, but I just can't think of what questions I could answer setting up a basic maglev setup. I could obviously very easily figure out the forces needed to levitate a train, just m*g.

    I was thinking of using the force sensors found in most physics labs and maybe pushing or pulling the train along a track to figure out the forces required to move the train. Maybe using that info we could then write about how the electro magnetic trains create that propulsion force?

    I'm sorry I'm so at a loss. If you've ever seen or done a maglev experiment and have any good ideas I'd love to hear them.

    From a desperate physics student.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    You might get some ideas from youtube videos on the topic:

    You could do a build study trying to determine how much weight could be carried based on the strength of the magnets or how fast it could go oe the effects of wind resistance or even the effects on people in the train like do they get nausea or is there some damping going on to prevent motion sickness.

    If you google on it you might find things like this that can lead to questions for your experiment:


  4. Apr 7, 2017 #3
    Once you have a continuous track where the vehicle is always hovering, propulsion is not much of a problem.
    A fan would be enough, (a high bypass turbofan would be even better!)
  5. Apr 8, 2017 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Wouldn't it be more practicable to use magnetic propulsion as well as levitation? After all, you have all the kit on board and all you need to do is to control the phases of currents in the coils, I believe.
  6. Apr 8, 2017 #5
    I don't know, was just pointing out that the levitation system does not neccesarily have to do the propulsion as well.
    In terms of making a working model it could be simpler to consider them as separate goals.
    Things like finely tuned phasing of currents might present construction difficulties, you might need to experiment with one off coil designs and hope the idea works.
    Basic magnetic levitation by itself can be done with off-the-shelf electromagnets.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted