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My project at ISEF

  1. Jul 2, 2014 #1
    Hey PF,
    I want to precipitate ISEF (The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair) this year, there's an idea that came up in my mind during studying MagLev trains in physics, since high speeds are achieved in MagLev trains due to the elimination of friction, what if air pressure was also eliminated by placing the train in an air evacuated tube, I think this will allow the train to achieve ultimate speeds without much energy.
    The advantages of these trains that it is super fast, safe, and relatively cheap, it could replace commercial planes one day. It's just an idea right now, I'm still gong to work hard on it if it's worth it. I'm going to explain the exact physics of this train and the engineering of its tubes, and the economics of its infrastructure, and how it could save a lot of money and time. I'm looking forward to winning a placing in ISEF this year so I could apply to a top university.
    I need your opinions guys, do you have ideas to make this project distinctive, could it win the best of the "Energy and Transportation" category? and what is my actual chance of winning a placing in ISEF, and how can I increase my chance ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2014 #2
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  4. Jul 2, 2014 #3

    This is not the reason to do competitions like this... You don't have to place in some competition to get into a top school. Good grades, extracurriculars, test scores, a bit of luck are probably more important (to my limited knowledge - if someone else thinks I'm wrong, correct me please)

    Also, when I read your description, all I could think about what just how similar this is to Elon Musk's hyper loop idea. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

    A project of this magnitude would cost billions and billions of dollars. Probably not economically feasible. It would not be cheap to create this - how can you argue this will be cheap?

    I'm not sure we have the vacuum technology either to take air out of a volume that huge. Do we? 1000 miles of track and a cross section of 10^2pi ft^2 is an enormous volume to take air out of. I don't think it's feasible, but I'll wait for an expert to weigh in. An assumed radius of 10ft is probably too small, but to give you an idea of the project to tackle.

    Edit to add: you don't need to bump your thread after 2 hours. Give people time.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  5. Jul 2, 2014 #4
    yeah sure, but I also think an international prize will also make a great difference.
    I didn't it, actually I reposted my topic in the general discussion forum because I thought the academic guidance wasn't for my topic but some admin deleted it from the general discussion and put it on aced amid guidance so it appears twice on the same forum.
  6. Jul 2, 2014 #5

    So you are implying that it is impossible ?
  7. Jul 2, 2014 #6
    I was referring to your 2 hour later second post of "anyone?"

    And yes I'm sure it will help. But I think the other factors I listed are a little more fundamental to how well you will do in college. I had no competition like this, only some statewide math competitions and I got into a good school for undergrad. (I'd say and most would agree it counts as "top")

    I'm saying you should research and see if your proposal is even possible. I don't know if it is, but sounds kind of grandiose. Do some google searches, some order of magnitude calculations and see. Maybe try to find out how many vacuum pumps would be needed to keep that volume in vacuum. How much fuel would it use? How much would that cost? Things like that are important in an inphastructure project of that size.

    I digress and will let an expert take it from here. Good luck to you. I just wanted to point those 2 things out.
  8. Jul 2, 2014 #7
    I'm an international student, living in a developing country, so I don't have much on my resume except for some great grades, but other than that nothing, competitions, and extracurricular activities aren't offered much in my country so I think ISEF is my only hope now. :sad:
  9. Jul 2, 2014 #8

    Gotcha. And great grades are a great place to start.

    By all means, go for it :). Do some order of magnitude calculations though to see if this idea is possible physically and economically before you get too invested with it. Or wait for some other experts that know more than me to chime in :)
  10. Jul 2, 2014 #9

    Experts like engineers ???
  11. Jul 3, 2014 #10
    Where can I get that kind of help from ??
    Can I ask on physics forums for that kind of help ??
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