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An Introduction to Magnetic Levitation:

Magnetic Levitation (mg´lev) or maglev, support and propulsion of objects or vehicles by the use of magnets. The magnets provide support without contact or friction, allowing for fast, quiet operation. In a typical system, the vehicle, which resembles a railroad car, travels above a guideway. Arrays of magnets of like polarity in both the vehicle and guideway repel each other, producing the lifting force. By continuously changing the polarity in alternate magnets, a series of magnetic attractions and repulsions is created that moves the vehicle along the track. The electrical energy required for such a system is great and the use of superconducting materials offers the only realistic potential for this means of transportation. Research into such systems has been conducted since the 1960s in the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Germany. Maglev technology was applied in England in the construction of a fully automated, low-speed shuttle in Birmingham, but the line was closed because of maintenance problems. In 1996 funding was approved in Germany for a maglev train linking Berlin and Hamburg, but it was canceled in 2000. In 2002 a maglev line linking Shanghai's financial district with its new airport was opened, with scheduled operation projected for 2004; called the Translev, it can reach speeds of 267 mph (460 kph) along its 18.6 mi (30 km) route..

Required Internet Reading:

Click on Magnetic Levitation Vehicle Links:


Websites to read and review:

How a maglev train works


How an electro magnet works


How a magnet works


Details on the electro magnet, Basic Design principles


Trains Reach High Speeds With Magnets,23102,3370193,00.html


Company researching and building maglev trains


Overview of Maglev Research and Development






Magnetic Levitation Project Overview:

  1. It is your task to design a Maglev Vehicle that will move the 8 the length of the maglev track.
  2. Created a detailed design report for your vehicle.
  3. Include all research
  4. Define the listed keywords. (You can find the answers in the required reading.)
  5. Answer the review questions. (You can find the answers in the required reading.)
  6. Sketch out four different designs for your vehicle. (Front View, Top View, Right Side view)
  7. Create a detailed drawing of your vehicles designs. (Front View, Top View, Right Side view, Include dimensions)
  8. Construct your maglev vehicle.
  9. Test Maglev Vehicle



Define the following Keywords:

  1. Maglev
  2. Electromagnets
  3. Magnets
  4. Permanent Magnets
  5. Temporary Magnets
  6. Battery
  7. Electrons
  8. Steel
  9. Wire
  10. Compass
  11. Coil
  12. Magnetic Field
  13. Guide way
  14. Levitate
  15. EMS electromagnetic suspension
  16. EDS Electro dynamic suspension
  17. MPH
  18. KPH

Review Questions:


  1. What countries are leaders in developing Maglev technology?
  2. What is the fundamental law of Magnets?
  3. What is the top speed of a maglev train?
  4. What are the principles of Maglev?
  5. What are the 3 components of a Maglev system?
  6. What are the advantages of using a Maglev system?
  7. What are the disadvantages of using a Maglev system?