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August 5 , 6
Magnets and mass transit
  電磁懸浮原理 vs. 大眾運輸工具
  by Joshua D. Bickle


It all started with a blog post in 2013 by Elon Musk, founder of Tesla. The post was a frustrated reaction to a high-speed train project that had been approved by the legislature in California. Musk felt the project cost was too high, and it would be better to invest in a new method of transport: a hyperloop.

  There are several challenges in creating a high-speed transit system, many of which are dictated by the laws of physics. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the resistance to motion caused by friction. At very high speeds, the air becomes difficult to push through. Musk’s proposal solved this problem by suggesting that a special, low air-pressure environment could be created inside of a tube. Lower air pressure means less friction, and therefore less energy is needed to move objects, in this case a train, at higher speeds.

  Musk published a design study of the hyperloop as an open-source idea. That means that anyone could take the design and improve on it for their own use. One reader, Josh Giegel, wasn’t impressed by the math in Musk’s study. But he couldn’t let go of the feeling that a hyperloop could be a game-changing idea.


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