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Making a Magnetic Levitation Train

  1. May 9, 2009 #1
    I would like to make a maglev train for a physics project, but I would prefer it to be simple and for the most part easy to make, as I do not have access to too many supplies. Hopefully, you can help me generate a list of possible ideas with brief explanations on how to construct them and how they work.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2009 #2


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    For simplicity, you might want to try an "inductrac" maglev, which levitates on a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halbach_array" [Broken]. That way, oyu won't need electromagnets.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. May 12, 2009 #3
    I don't know any place that sells Halbach Arrays, and they seem difficult to make, correct me if I am wrong.
  5. May 12, 2009 #4


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    No, you're quite right. Maybe electromagnets would be easier to biuld.
  6. May 12, 2009 #5
    To me, a Halbach Array seems quite simple to make. Simply stick some permanent magnets together in this manner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halbach_array
  7. May 14, 2009 #6
    Do I necessarily need a Halbach Array to use the Inductrac design??
  8. May 14, 2009 #7
    Yup, you need Halbach arrays; it about doubles the field, and the lift is proportional to the square of the field, so you get 3-4x more lift; and takeoff happens at much lower speeds.

    The number of people that have been able to make a working inductrack design is very, very short. The biggest problem seems to be getting the system up to a speed where it actually lifts, ~24 mph is not that low really; although inductrack II is supposed to lift at about 5 mph.

    FWIW I've made Halbach arrays. They're not too hard to make provided you have a flat fairly thick sheet of iron or steel to act as a flux shunt while you build it (needs to be about 1/4 the thickness of the magnets) and build them on that, with the flux side down, and then stick them to a backing plate and then slide them off when they set. Provided it's thick enough the iron/steel attracts the magnets very well, and friction holds them in place (more or less), although you'll have to clamp it when you glue it since the intermediate magnets popup.

    If you don't do the flux shunt trick, the magnets will fight you oh-so-very-hard.
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  9. Jul 30, 2011 #8
    Guys can yu please help me I made a simple mAglev with magnetic strips but the problem is the vechicle keeps on twist and attracting to the side how do I make it levitate pls help due on monday
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