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MagLev model?

  1. Apr 7, 2005 #1
    I am doing a project for my physics course....I have to design a device that uses electromagnetism.

    I'm thinking of doing something "different" rather than the boring bells/radios etc..

    Would a small-scale model of a maglev train be feasible in everyone's opinion? I am planning to build a track out of a ,metal shaft wrapped with wire connected to a battery, and the train will be a long piece of wood with magnets attached to the underside.

    Would this work in levitating the magnets and wood? I raelize that the main problem is stability; I need to keep the "train" from tipping over so I plan to build "walls" on either side of the track that stabilize the train like this:


    Would this work? How powerful do the batteries need to be? do I need two parallel tracks or one?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2005 #2
    "Would this work?"

    Yes, but remember that if you rely on the walls too much for stability, you will have a lot of friction.

    "How powerful do the batteries need to be?"

    Batteries would be an inefficient way to go. I would suggest rare earth permanent magnets on the train, and plugging the track in to the wall.

    "do I need two parallel tracks or one?"

    If you have learned about magnetic fields and currents, you know that a circuit loop (two parallel wires, with current running through them in a loop) will have double the field of a single wire with the same current.

    This project is very difficult. You would need a large current through the track in order to create a magnetic field strong enough to hold up even a small train.

    Here is another suggestion: How about a solenoid cannon? A solenoid is just the standard coiled-cylinder-of-wire electromagnet. You could make a long solenoid with a wooden dowl in the middle (along the axis of the cylinder). Then you could accelerate magnets (in the shape of rings) down the length of the dowl (the longer the solenoid, the faster they could go). Just a thought for an ambitious project that is not quite as ambitious.
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