Short, simple and clear post on the basics of the awesome maglev (train) technology.

Extraordinarily Well Rounded

When you hear the word levitation, maybe you think of something like this:

I’m not saying that’s not real. (But it would not be inaccurate to say that it isn’t not unreal.)

Let’s leave magical powers out of this, though. I want to talk about the sort of levitation achieved by science.

Humans have found a handful of ways to force objects to defy gravity, and I’m going to tell you about one: magnetic levitation.

Ever heard of a maglev train? It uses electromagnets to run without touching the tracks, cutting down on friction (allowing for faster starts and stops) and wear-n-tear (theoretically making it less expensive to maintain). In order for this to work, the train has to hover at exactly the right distance from the track: 15 mm. That’s about the width of a woman’s thumb. The downside? No more nostalgic penny-smushing (possibly outweighed by the cool factor…

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