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Maglev

  • By: Sarah Boslaugh
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

This magnetic levitation train in Shanghai, China, is the fastest passenger train currently in service (431 kilometers per hour). While lack of friction from wheels allows maglev trains to travel faster, air resistance means that they are only slightly more efficient than conventional trains.

Maglev, or maglev, is an abbreviation for magnetic levitation, a method of suspending an object in the air supported by magnetic fields. One well-known use of maglev is in transportation: maglev trains have been in use since the 1980s, with several operating today and extensive networks proposed for the future. Maglev trains incorporate a basic fact about magnets: like poles repel each other. Maglev trains use rare earth magnets, which produce a stronger magnetic field than ferrite (iron compound) or alnico (alloys ...

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