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Why Maglev MagLev technology is entirely different from any form of transportation in operation today but the basic principles that lie at the foundation are not beyond the understanding of the beginning electricity and magnetism student It is in the application of these principles to design and optimize an actual train that things get hairy The basic idea has been researched since the mid-sixties but it is only now that economically feasible prototypes are being built and governments are seriously looking towards magnets to propel us into the next century Leading the race is Germany Their design the Transrapid 07 is ready for commercial production It utilizes conventional electromagnets and forces of attraction to levitate the train A good web site to find out more about German plans for their design is httptransrapidsimplenetcomindex-ehtm The Japanese are investigating an entirely different design involving superconducting magnets to generate huge repulsive forces which levitate the train However their MLU002N is still in experimental stages For more information check out httpwwwrtriorjprdmaglevEhtml With a little stretching the average physics student should be able to comprehend the principles of magnetic levitation and propulsion through synchronous linear motors To facilitate the process of understanding this complex material we suggest that the student go through this web site in order Make sure you understand the basic physics before moving on to the page which applies these principles to magnetically levitated vehicles Moving Charge -- Magnetic Field Intro We know from experiment that a moving charge exerts a force on other moving charges we call this effect magnetism The magnetic force is a field force meaning that a moving charge sets up a field which in turn exerts a force on other moving charges The field set up by a given moving charge is found to be perpendicular to its velocity and to decay with distance from the charge First we will
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